College Football Player, 19, Dies Two Weeks After Collapsing During Team Workout
The University of Maryland is conducting an investigation following the death of student football player Jordan McNair, who died on Wednesday, two weeks after he collapsed during a workout on the team’s practice field.
McNair was hospitalized on May 29 after completing 10 110-yard sprints, according to CBS Sports. When the trainers noticed the 19-year-old having trouble recovering from the activity, they took him to a nearby training room for additional care. But with McNair’s condition worsening, they called for paramedics, who transported the ailing football player to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
According to a GoFundMe set up for the family, McNair — originally from Randallstown, Maryland — received a liver transplant at the hospital and was “fighting for his life” in the days following his collapse and leading up to his death on Wednesday.
During an emotional press conference on Thursday, University of Maryland officials did not disclose McNair’s cause of death, citing a privacy request by the family, who were not in attendance.
During the conference, university officials announced they would conduct an external review of McNair’s death.
“The prudent thing to do and the right thing to do when a situation like this arises is to do a review to make sure that the proper protocols were followed,” executive athletic director Damon Evans said. “We started that process of discussing from the moment Jordan was hospitalized and we will have a team that will provide us the necessary feedback so we can move forward.”
In a statement sent to PEOPLE, Evans stressed the significance of McNair’s loss.
“Jordan was a tremendous athlete, student, teammate and friend, and he will be sorely missed,” Evans said in the statement provided by the university. “We offer our deepest condolences to his parents, family and friends.”
Following the heartbreaking news, players from the team took to social media to extend their support and praise their former teammate.
“White for our gratitude for how you have impacted our lives,” tweeted McNair’s fellow offensive lineman, Ellis McKennie, along with a picture of McNair’s locker filled with flowers. “Red for the flash and joy you brought everyday. You are truly missed my guy.”
Kasim Hill, the team’s quarterback, wrote a heartfelt message on Twitter to his “brother.”
“Lord, words cannot explain anything right now,” Hill wrote. “Thank you for allowing me to know a great friend, teammate and a man who was truly a brother. Watch over us all Jordan and rest in peace, Love you forever.”
The donation page set up to help McNair’s family has since raised $27,000 from almost 400 donations.
In a statement to PEOPLE, University of Maryland football coach D.J. Durkin called McNair a talented football player who always flashed a smile.
“Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team,” Durkin said. “Jordan was a hard worker and he always had a smile on his face. He was an extremely talented football player and a humble and genuine human being. He embodied the essence of what it means to be a teammate.”
While calling his former player a “fighter” and praising his strength to never give up, Durkin said the team will look to McNair for inspiration.
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“Jordan was a fighter. Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side,” he said. “Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter. Please continue to pray for Jordan’s family during this difficult time.”