Transcript for Embattled Maryland coach fired 1 day after being reinstated
We're back with that football firestorm. Overnight the embattled coach at the university of Maryland D.J. Durkin was a fired a day after being reinstated. So many were outraged he had gotten his job back after a player died of heatstroke. We'll speak with his father in a moment. First Paula Faris is here with the latest on this one. Good morning, Paula. Good morning, everyone. What a stunning turn of events. Durkin was reportedly surprised about the school's decision to terminate him. But many are upset the university of Maryland did not do the right thing until they were forced to. Just 24 hours after reinstating their embattled head football coach, the university of Maryland caving to massive public pressure. Our voices were heard. Reporter: Reversing course announcing they've now fired D.J. Durkin who had been under fire following the death of 19-year-old freshman Jordan McNair. We have an individual hyper vent lating. Reporter: It was determined it was died two weeks after suffering heatstroke during an intense workout earlier this spring. An investigation was launched looking into allegations of a toxic culture within the university's football program. A culture which Jordan McNair's family believe led to his death. He will always give his all and so for him to -- he wouldn't have stopped. He wouldn't have stopped because if that's the culture then he didn't want to be called names. Reporter: After a 2 1/2-month suspension the Maryland board of regents which oversees the state's university stood by the coach reinstating him on Tuesday. We believe that coach Durkin has been unfairly blamed for the dysfunction in the athletic department and while he shares some responsibility, it is not fair to place all of it at his feet. Reporter: But by Wednesday, the student government planned to protest. Many pointing to the millions saved by not buying Durkin out of his contract. One saying a paycheck was chosen over that life and the university had no choice but to part ways saying the overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about coach D.J. Durkin returning to campus. A departure is in the best interest of the university. Now, there were two investigations, one of those investigations did not find a toxic culture but say the department lacked a culture of accountability and the university could face additional legal fallout from firing Durkin. He could sue the school on a number of claims. It's looking like this could be a messy separation. Okay, Paula, thank you. Jordan McNair's father, Marty and their family's attorney hassan Murphy join us. What is your reaction to coach Durkin being fired? Relieved. Surprised. A level of gratitude that the right thing was done so far. This was a huge shock, even to you, this firing because just 24 hours earlier he had been reinstate the job. Does what happen now change any of that? Yeah, somewhat, just due to the decision that Dr. Loh made, this is a step in the right direction. Mr. Murphy, before this was happened, the only person who paid was Jordan with his life. Should anyone else be punished? I don't know really if that's for us to say anymore. Our fight now is about getting justice for this family and for Jordan's name and in his memory. We heard there one of the investigations blasted the culture of the athletic department saying that it lacked accountability. I guess this question is for both of you. Is what happened to Jordan an isolated case, and, Mr. McNair, do you have fear for the players on the team. No, it's not an isolated case. Exertional heatstroke happen every year. You had 30 plus deaths since 2000 of collegiate athletics on the football field and usually happens the first or second day of practice. The main goal moving forward is to bring some type of awareness and prevention that everyone can see Thai that this doesn't happen again because it was 100% preventible. And, Cecilia, one of the things we've seen in our investigation, we talked to dozens of former and current players and there was a toxic culture. We've heard stories of physical abuse, harassment, beration. What about the players on the team now? Hopefully this will mark a change and an end. I mean, part of why Jordan died is as a result of the culture. In the early stages of death they were calling him names. What about student athletes pushing themselves to the edge doing what their coaches are telling them to do. Do you have words for them this morning. To all student athletes, know your bodies. You know, and know when your body tells you to stop, stop. Because you only have one body and we don't want to -- I don't wish anyone to be in the situation we're in right now withrdan. Mr. Murphy, you filed an intention to sue. Does that still stand? Absolutely, and whether or not that happens will now be up to the university of Maryland. Well, our thanks again to you both for being here this morning. Thank you.
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