One year before offensive lineman Jordan McNair died after collapsing at a team workout, Maryland President Wallace D. Loh chose to not approve a proposal to change athletic health care at the university, according to The Washington Post.
Kevin Anderson, Maryland’s then-athletic director, sent a memo to Loh dated May 19, 2017, that described changes in the management of athletes’ injuries and illnesses that the athletic department sought to make. The plan called for the school to create an independent medical care model.
The memo asked for the university’s athletic trainers to report to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and be separated from the influence of the school’s athletic department.
“This relationship also better aligns resources and expertise under one umbrella aimed at improving patient care, staff education and clinical research in the care of athletic conditions and injuries,” the memo read, according to the Post.
In 2016, the NCAA created a measure for schools to “establish an administrative structure that provides independent medical care.” Some universities, including fellow Big Ten schools Ohio State, Northwestern, Iowa and Michigan, have given responsibilities to their associated medical schools.
Loh rejected the proposal last August because he didn’t want another institution to make medical personnel decisions, reports the Post.
The university’s athletic department handles most of their sports medicine operations. Maryland spokesperson Katie Lawson told the Post that the school uses physicians outside of the athletic department to oversee the athletic training staff.
McNair collapsed at a team workout on May 29, after showing signs of exhaustion while running 110-yard sprints. The lineman died two weeks later on June 13.
Last week, ESPN reported that McNair died of a heatstroke and also published an explosive in-depth report on the “toxic” coaching culturewithin the Terrapins football program. The following day Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave.
On Tuesday, Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans announced that they have apologized to McNair’s parents and that “the university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29.” Evans also said that the university parted ways with head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court.