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Taking Action

How the University of Maryland is Responding


Following the death of Jordan McNair, the University initiated a formal, external review led by Rod Walters, a nationally recognized leader in the field of athletic training. This review was designed to examine our policies and procedures affecting the health and safety of our student-athletes. We made immediate changes following Jordan’s death and have continued to make enhancements informed by the preliminary observations of the external review that we received this summer, including:

 

Changed how we practice, train and compete to prevent heat illness

  • Increased the number of medical training staff - including doctors and trainers - present at both football practices and games.
  • Added on-site cooling stations to football training camp and practices consisting of portable spray misters, recovery drinks and cooling towels. Additionally, cooling stations were initiated for designated outside sports.
  • Increased the number and length of recovery breaks.
  • Implemented a new two-way radio communication channel during practices and trainings to enhance coordination between the strength and athletic training staff for football practices.

Enhanced student-athlete assessments to more closely monitor their health

  • Implemented a new Gatorade Hydration Platform, a state-of-the-art technology that allows student-athletes to see how much fluid they’ve lost during practice and how much they need to drink to get back to a safe hydration level.
  • Implemented additional environmental condition assessments prior to practices and trainings across our athletic program, utilizing Weather OPS daily projections and Wet Globe Bulb Temperature readings in order to fully understand the environmental impact and how we can modify practices accordingly.
  • Implemented mandatory hydration testing before any football summer team run. If an athlete’s hydration isn’t at an acceptable level, they must rehydrate and retest, and if they can’t get to a safe hydration level, a modified training program is provided for them that day.
  • Expanded the use of cold tub/ice immersion therapy to include conditioning sessions and workouts during the summer sessions.

Increased the frequency of athletic department staff trainings across all sports-related health matters

  • Held an in-service training for all athletic training as well as strength and conditioning staff on implementing emergency action plans, led by Rod Walters.
  • Held an in-service training on weather considerations for student-athlete health led by Dr. Valerie Cothran from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who leads our physician-led model for athletic training.
  • Held first responders training with the Fire Department and EMS, helping them understand the best way to access athletic facilities during emergency situations.

Provided additional support measures and new ways to collect input from student-athletes

  • Launched an online portal called Terps Feedback, which allows student-athletes to share concerns or report issues securely and in real time.
  • Held a meeting for the football parents and communicated with all student-athlete parents about safety changes.
  • Supported - and continuing to support - our student-athletes by providing easily accessible sports psychologists, who advise our coaching staff and football leadership team on how to support our student-athletes through this difficult situation. Sports psychologists have and continue to be available for all student-athletes.

Based on the final Walters report, we are taking the following actions:

  • Adopt every recommendation made in the external review report while continuing to look at how we can enhance our training programs in new and innovative ways. Some of these recommendations were implemented this summer and the rest will be implemented over time.
  • Establish an independent review panel that will annually review procedures and protocols on student-athlete safety.
  • Host twice-annual sports performance development series through American College of Sports Medicine-approved providers that are open to the Maryland community.
  • Increase the frequency of the physician driven education for athletic trainers, physical therapists, and other members of the sports medicine staff at the University of Maryland to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date care for our student-athletes.

About

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 352,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.

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Academics

Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 200 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 

Arts

At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

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Athletics

Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 19 intercollegiate sports—11 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 16 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 17 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

Our Commitment to Student-Athletes

At the University of Maryland, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students is paramount and resolute. For our student-athletes, that means both on and off the field.
The University of Maryland is committed to accountability, transparency, and fairness and is working to ensure our program upholds the values of our University.
Learn more about our commitment.

Student Life

The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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