COLLEGE PARK, Md. --The cloud over the University of Maryland's troubled football darkened Friday with new findings of abusive conduct by ex-conditioning coach Rick Court and a "culture" where problems festered because players feared speaking out.
Meanwhile, enthusiasm for the troubled program appears to have taken a hit as the University System's Board of Regents spent Friday discussing how to move forward.
Attendance at the school's 3 home games at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium so far this season has averaged only 34,414 compared to last years season average of 39,643. The 2017 average was already second-to-last in the Big10.
"I don't want to support something right now that I don't know I necessarily agree with," said Sophomore student Liza Parr, who said she has not been attending games. Parr said she empathizes with players but is unsure about the schools leadership on the issue, echoing the comments of many students who spoke to WUSA9.
Friday, the University System Board of Regents continued to meet behind closed doors to discuss the new results of an investigation that confirmed troubling issues on the team exposed after the death of freshman offensive lineman Jordan McNair in the wake of a pre-season practice in May.
The Regents are expected to make decisions of the futures of head coach D.J. Durkin, Athletic Director Damon Evans and University President Wallace Loh as early as next Tuesday.
The 200-page investigation by a commission appointed by the board has not been made public, but copies have been published by the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post.
Highlights of the investigation include findings the former conditioning coach Rick Court "engaged in abusive conduct" including reports that he choked a player lifting on a weight machine. The investigation also found that players reported that Court humiliated players and used homophobic and racial slurs.
The report said Court would throw food, weights, and a trash can full of vomit on one incident.
The report did not find that the football program suffered from a "toxic" culture" under a strict definition of the word. And investigators stated they, “do not find that the culture caused the tragic death of Jordan McNair.”
But investigators said the program was infected with "a culture where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out."