By Tony Dokoupil CBS News August 19, 2018, 8:51 PM "The program is not toxic": Parent defends University of Maryland football program, coach

At the University of Maryland, parents of current football players met with school officials Saturday. They were looking for answers in the death of a player three months ago. They are also looking into whether the school's football team has a "toxic culture."

Their meeting comes on the heels of the governing board of the Maryland public university system taking control of two investigations.

"It was nice for the first time for me being there as a parent," Darryl Turner, a father of one of the football team members, told CBS affiliate WUSA-TV after Saturday's meeting. "They were kind of a little emotional. Parents asked questions with some tears."

Jordan McNair

CBS News

One of the investigations will look into the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair. He died in June from heatstroke at a team workout.

There is also a probe into whether the football program has fostered an abusive culture.

As a result, head coach DJ Durkin was placed on leave, but his players are coming to his defense.

"These accusations are false," Junior Punter Wade Lees told CBS affiliate WUSA-TV. "I really hope coach Durkin comes back to coach us … because he's done all the hard work to getting us so close to succeeding."

Turner said he continues to support the university's football program.

"The program is not toxic," he told WUSA-TV, and mentioned that his son has not complained about anything to him. "It's a tough game and you gotta be tough."

"I'm behind Coach Durkin," Turner added. "Durkin did a lot to help bring my son up to be a man."

DJ Durkin

Head coach DJ Durkin of the Maryland Terrapins seen Oct. 8, 2016, in State College, Pa.


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