Ben Jealous, gubernatorial candidate, calls for Maryland to suspend Durkin, Evans

Maryland Stadium

SC football coach Will Muschamp defended former assistant D.J. Durkin on Saturday, accusing the media of irresponsibly sharing anonymous accounts of alleged "toxic culture" inside the Maryland football program.

Durkin, who served under Muschamp from 2011-2014 at Florida, is now the head coach of the Terrapins.

Jordan McNair, 19, died June 13, two weeks after participating in a workout at Maryland's outdoor practice fields, CNN affiliate WJZ-TV reported.

Durkin's status was announced Saturday by Maryland Director of Athletics Damon Evans.

"I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports", Evans said in his statement.

A former staff member recalled a time when one player was in a team meeting with food on a plate because he was rushing from a meal to get to the meeting, and [strength and conditioning coach Rick] Court smacked the plate of food out of the player's hands, yelling at him.

After the Maryland athletic department placed Durkin on leave Saturday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement in support of the decision. We are committed to fully investigating the program.

Multiple officials with the University of Maryland athletic staff have been suspended pending a review following allegations of a toxic environment leading to the death of football player Jordan McNair earlier this year. Sources also told ESPN.com that Court, assistant athletic director of sports performance was also placed on leave. A final report is expected September 15.

Ben Jealous, a candidate for Maryland governor, is also calling for the suspensions of Durkin and Evans, until an investigation into McNair's death has been finished.

"We must have complete confidence that our student athletes are treated with dignity and respect and that they are supervised and coached responsibly", he said.

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