Lawmakers say University of Maryland is making improvements in athlete safety

Lawmakers say University of Maryland is making improvements in athlete safety (ABC7)

After a closed door meeting at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, lawmakers from Maryland said the state’s flagship university in College Park is making improvements in athlete safety.

U.S. Senators and Congressmen from Maryland met with the new chair of the university system’s board of regents as well as the system’s chancellor.

Chancellor Bob Caret said after the meeting that 13 of 19 recommendations have already been implemented after an investigation following the spring death of football player Jordan McNair from heatstroke.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D – Baltimore) said he believes the school’s choice to hire Mike Locksley as its new head football coach will also help.

“I mean, he gets it,” Cummings said. “He gets working with these young people and trying to make sure that their health is number one.”

Locksley is a DC native who has been an assistant and interim head coach at Maryland in the past.

He was the offensive coordinator at No. 1 ranked Alabama when Maryland decided to hire him this past week.

Lawmakers also left open the possibility school president Wallace Loh could return despite Loh announcing he would retire in June.

Loh made the announcement a little over a month ago when the school announced head football coach DJ Durkin would return. Durkin had been suspended pending the outcome of investigations into McNair’s death and the football program’s culture. After an outcry, Loh fired Durkin the next day.

Some lawmakers made it clear they want Loh to take back his decision to retire.

“I urged Dr. Loh to reconsider,” said Congressman Steny Hoyer (D – MD 5th District).

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin said he has been told the decision will ultimately be up to Loh.

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