The University of Maryland has put football coach DJ Durkin on leave, athletic director Damon Evans announced Saturday.
The decision comes less than 24 hours after ESPN published an investigative report focused on allegations of a “toxic culture” under Durkin. It included excessive verbal abuse, the use of food for “punitive” measures and a strength coach throwing small weights in players’ direction.
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who only joined the Terrpains’ program in January, has been named the team’s interim head coach.
“At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program. This is effective immediately,” Evans wrote in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous called for the suspensions of both Durkin and Evans. It appears Evans will remain on the job at this time.
“These alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we must do better,” Evans wrote.
The university hired Walters Inc. to conduct a review of the football program’s practices and the events surrounding Jordan McNair’s death, and Evans reiterated in his letter that the school will release those findings when the investigation is complete.
Earlier Saturday, it was reported that the university also placed some members of the training staff on leave.
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