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Maryland athletic director says he had 'inaccurate information' about Jordan McNair workout

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans says he initially received "inaccurate information" about the events at a May 29 workout that eventually led to the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair.

On June 14, the day after McNair died from heatstroke, Evans told reporters at a news conference that McNair completed an entire conditioning drill of 10 110-yard runs. According to an investigative report released Friday from Walters Inc., McNair completed his first seven runs within his allotted time, but prior to the eighth repetition, "he was reported by the athletic trainers as exhausted."

Evans did not specifically say who told him the wrong information. A spokeswoman said the school could not share publicly who told Evans the bad information "due to personnel records."

"A point of concern for me is the question over whether Jordan completed the workout, as it was initially told to the university in the hours and days following Jordan's hospitalization," Evans said in a prepared statement shared with ESPN on Wednesday. "What became clear through the Walters review is that Jordan did not complete the workout on his own.

"Following the initial press conference, conflicting information about the timeline emerged, and it became clear that the independent review would need to discern the most complete timeline possible -- one that could be verified by multiple eyewitnesses and all sources of information available to us," Evans said in the statement.

"I regret that those details, which were based off the information shared with the university at the time, contained inaccurate information. We learned through the preliminary findings that the appropriate protocols were not followed, and the university apologized for the mistakes made. We have committed to implementing the Walters review recommendations and taking further actions to enhance the safety of our student-athletes."

Maryland football coach DJ Durkin, who remains on administrative leave, was at the May 29 workout.

"Conversations with staff began after Jordan's hospitalization, and a sit-down that was convened by Athletics administration occurred days prior to Jordan's passing," the school said in a statement. "This meeting included the general counsel's office as well as the faculty athletics representative for the university."

According to The Washington Post, Durkin told reporters at Big Ten Media days, "I was there. Our whole coaching staff was present that day. He completed the running exercise that day, 10 110s, and he did complete it."

According to page 66 of the Walters report, "Information reported to UMD attorney, athletic director, and senior administration two days post event was not representative of activity and care on the field May 29, 2018." The report also states that "review of videos confirmed UMD administration's concerns."

In an Aug. 14 news conference, Evans said he was not at the May 29 practice. When asked by ESPN that day how he had learned of the timeline he initially gave to the media, Evans said: "We sat down and met with individuals on our staff to try to ascertain as best we could what transpired on that particular day, and we provided you with the information we had at that time."

According to page 18 of the Walters report, "timely documentation of the event did not occur." The report states that there was a meeting conducted on June 11 -- two days before McNair died. At the Aug. 14 news conference, ESPN also asked Evans whether the university had conducted its own internal investigation into the workout before McNair had died.

"... I guess we asked some questions about staff, to learn what had transpired that day," Evans said then. "But all along, we felt that it was important to bring an independent, outside consultant, so there wouldn't be any conflicts of interest -- someone who is an expert at doing this -- and Rob Walters is that individual. And I think that is the best approach."

According to the Walters report, "four immediate concerns were identified and shared with the senior administration July 27," which was more than two weeks before president Wallace Loh and Evans met with McNair's parents in Baltimore to inform them of the report's preliminary findings. The four concerns, as written in the report, were:

• The injury evaluation did not include any assessment of vital signs. Specifically, core temperature was not established.

• Treatment provided did not appropriately address the escalating symptoms of heat-related illness.

• No apparatus was used for prompt cooling of the patient on May 29, 2018.

• Failure to provide directions to EMS to the scene and designate an individual to flag down EMS and direct to scene.

ESPN reached out to a university spokeswoman for clarification on why there was a two-week gap between when university officials first learned of the four main concerns and when they were shared with the parents and the media. The university issued the following statement:

"When university officials fully understood the scope of mistakes made in Jordan's care, the planning began to take the appropriate steps to address safety concerns and issue an apology -- both privately to Jordan's family and to the public."