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The inside story of a toxic culture at Maryland football

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Nothing like the guy you're still paying, who you let go, dropping the biggest story of the offseason on Facebook to make you all of the sudden flex your journalistic muscle, I suppose.

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I get the not to push to hard, definitely for someone life to be in danger(though I wonder if the poor kid had some pre existing condition), but some of those complaints are a bit weak sauce. You were yelled at,, called a bitch? something was thrown in your direction?(for shame) Verbal abuse, intimidation , hell that sounds like some regular jobs I had as a kid.

 

 

 

 

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Hey, as long as they quit killing players.......Can't imagine this is helping their recruiting. Doesn't sound like a place I would like to play or let my kid play at. Pretty hard to get players to run through walls for you if they can't stand you or the culture you are fostering.

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Just now, Comfortably Numb said:

Hey, as long as they quit killing players.......Can't imagine this is helping their recruiting. Doesn't sound like a place I would like to play or let my kid play at. Pretty hard to get players to run through walls for you if they can't stand you or the culture you are fostering.

Very true, but killing players? Plural? Doubt it would happen again, deaths in training do happen however in other sports as well, also just as rarely. Story definitely doesn't help recruiting, but I wonder how much of this is Espn trying to get another big scoop by inflating Maryland's "sins" with certain quotes and over dramatic presentation, despite that this is what goes on in most successful programs, minus the mean yelling.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Michiganball said:

Very true, but killing players? Plural? Doubt it would happen again, deaths in training do happen however in other sports as well, also just as rarely. Story definitely doesn't help recruiting, but I wonder how much of this is Espn trying to get another big scoop by inflating Maryland's "sins" with certain quotes and over dramatic presentation, despite that this is what goes on in most successful programs, minus the mean yelling.

 

 

I have no idea if ESPN is embellishing or inflating or over dramatizing but it seems there are plenty of sources who are/were inside the program that are telling similar damning stories. I’ll disagree with you that this is how successful programs are run. There’s a significant difference between pushing athletes to their limit and their best and what seems to be happening at Maryland. And there is also a big difference between an unexpected sudden training death and one in which there were apparently signs of medical distress that were ignored.  Should we return to the days when water was for the weak? The coaches and trainers have to be aware that physical limits do in fact exist.

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The problem I have with the screaming, verbal abuse, throwing s#!t at people is I find it highly unlikely that it's a good teaching method or a good motivator. So not only does it not accomplish your goals, you're also making people feel like s#!t.

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In all seriousness, screw this antiquated, archaic macho masculine bulls#!t. The world has moved on, and there's no room for legitimate abuse masquerading under the guise of tough love anymore. Defenders will chalk it up to the pussification of society or snowflake culture, but that is not the case. Reality is that society has grown up and has found better behavior towards goals. There are better, healthier ways to inspire, encourage, teach, criticize, punish, etc. than something straight out of a 1960's military boot camp manual.

 

Not only that, but that approach isn't even conducive to high yielding results anyways. Even from a selfish/win at any cost perspective, that approach just isn't effective towards getting the most out of your players. 

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I have seen it work I have seen it not work.  I don't get it but it is not in my nature to act like that, I would rather joke around with the players.  I go to practice to have fun when it stops being fun for me I will stop coaching. 

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3 hours ago, teachercd said:

I have seen it work I have seen it not work.  I don't get it but it is not in my nature to act like that, I would rather joke around with the players.  I go to practice to have fun when it stops being fun for me I will stop coaching. 

 

 

How would you define seeing it work? We have examples of assholes being winning coaches but we don’t know they wouldn’t have been good without throwing chairs at people.

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14 minutes ago, Moiraine said:

 

 

How would you define seeing it work? We have examples of assholes being winning coaches but we don’t know they wouldn’t have been good without throwing chairs at people.

 

This is for Teachercd to respond too but i'll also throw this out for consideration that Bob Devaney would be "seeing how this works". He nearly got into a fist fight with jerry murtaugh at one point, and some of the other stories you can read about his reign reveal lots of profanity and intimidation and a treatment of players that we would deem unacceptable but is still in use today.

But as the result shows this method of coaching can be very effective when done correctly, making an incredibly tough and resilient team that can survive anything. And built our program.

 

However on the flip side if done incorrectly it can lead to an epic implosion or other fall flat on face performances. For instance UCF under o'leary also used this style and it worked until his final year when injuries and other misfortunes piled up and the team quit on him to go 0-12.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Moiraine said:

 

 

How would you define seeing it work? We have examples of assholes being winning coaches but we don’t know they wouldn’t have been good without throwing chairs at people.

 

"Referees aren't people"

    - Bobby Knight

 

 

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1 hour ago, Moiraine said:

 

 

How would you define seeing it work? We have examples of assholes being winning coaches but we don’t know they wouldn’t have been good without throwing chairs at people.

I guess I would define it by saying they still get a ton of kids out for the team and they still field good teams.

 

It is often times really tough for the asshole type coach to change how he/she coaches...I am the laid back joke around coach and I just really have a hard time trying to change and be asshole tough guy coach.  

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11 hours ago, Moiraine said:

The problem I have with the screaming, verbal abuse, throwing s#!t at people is I find it highly unlikely that it's a good teaching method or a good motivator. So not only does it not accomplish your goals, you're also making people feel like s#!t.

 

 

It's not. Scott Frost mentioned his philosophy of positive reinforcement within the first 5 minutes of his introductory press conference. Autonomy and self efficacy are beautiful things. 

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3 hours ago, husker98 said:

 

This is for Teachercd to respond too but i'll also throw this out for consideration that Bob Devaney would be "seeing how this works". He nearly got into a fist fight with jerry murtaugh at one point, and some of the other stories you can read about his reign reveal lots of profanity and intimidation and a treatment of players that we would deem unacceptable but is still in use today.

 

To be fair, Jerry Murtaugh would get in a fist fight with Mother Theresa. 20 years after he was done playing he and his brother(s) could still be found starting bar brawls. Guy was a violent tool.

 

But more importantly, the culture has changed significantly in the last 30-40 years. That's pretty much just the way coaches were back then.

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I don't really have a problem with profanity in general from coaches, but it kind of depends on how it's used. I do not have a problem with a college or pro coach saying "What the F*$k are you doing?" or "You guys are playing like s#!t right now."

 

However, if it shifts toward "What are you doing you mother f*$&#r?" or "You are just a piece of s#!t." or "stop being such a p#@!y" then it's more problematic. If these last three examples are rare, I can live with it. If it happens routinely, then it's more troublesome.

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Durkin is done IMO.  This is categorically worse than what happened to Beckman at Illinois and he got whacked.

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1 hour ago, Hans Gruber said:

I don't really have a problem with profanity in general from coaches, but it kind of depends on how it's used. I do not have a problem with a college or pro coach saying "What the F*$k are you doing?" or "You guys are playing like s#!t right now."

 

However, if it shifts toward "What are you doing you mother f*$&#r?" or "You are just a piece of s#!t." or "stop being such a p#@!y" then it's more problematic. If these last three examples are rare, I can live with it. If it happens routinely, then it's more troublesome.

 

I agree. I have no problem with them swearing or even yelling at players. The problem is belittling them, making fun and mocking, making them over eat, and running them out of the program in a chickensh#t manner. The coaches are there to help the players learn and operate at their peak, not to be an outlet for their aggression. It’s just stupid if they think this treatment will lead to anything good for the team or players.

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59 minutes ago, Xmas32 said:

Durkin is done IMO.  This is categorically worse than what happened to Beckman at Illinois and he got whacked.

Hopefully he gets fired and Meyer hires him at Ohio State.

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2 hours ago, Comfortably Numb said:

 

To be fair, Jerry Murtaugh would get in a fist fight with Mother Theresa. 20 years after he was done playing he and his brother(s) could still be found starting bar brawls. Guy was a violent tool.

 

But more importantly, the culture has changed significantly in the last 30-40 years. That's pretty much just the way coaches were back then.

 

Precisely, this is why there is still so much of it going on. i imagine it will die or evolve with time. But our program and many others where built with that model so i find it hard to look down on anyone else for using it. 

 

And yea jerry is the best :D

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59 minutes ago, ScottyIce said:

Hopefully he gets fired and Meyer hires him at Ohio State.

He seems to hire every other BIG 10 coach that gets fired.  Assuming he retains his own job.....which is looking better every day he doesn't get fired.

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21 hours ago, Comfortably Numb said:

I have no idea if ESPN is embellishing or inflating or over dramatizing but it seems there are plenty of sources who are/were inside the program that are telling similar damning stories. I’ll disagree with you that this is how successful programs are run. There’s a significant difference between pushing athletes to their limit and their best and what seems to be happening at Maryland. And there is also a big difference between an unexpected sudden training death and one in which there were apparently signs of medical distress that were ignored.  Should we return to the days when water was for the weak? The coaches and trainers have to be aware that physical limits do in fact exist.

Well they are run with that much intensity, I did not say humiliation or ignoring a person in distress  was part of them so not sure why you are going there. No one I think disagrees with physical near death limits and not wanting a player to actually die, but they are driven hard physically in any top program, no if and but. If you are not driven past your last limit you dont improve. this goes for sports or most things in life.

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1 hour ago, Michiganball said:

Well they are run with that much intensity, I did not say humiliation or ignoring a person in distress  was part of them so not sure why you are going there. No one I think disagrees with physical near death limits and not wanting a player to actually die, but they are driven hard physically in any top program, no if and but. If you are not driven past your last limit you dont improve. this goes for sports or most things in life.

 

I went there because that is where Maryland seems to have gone. Of course successful programs are pushed, hard, to achieve that success. Do you really think that is all that is going on with Maryland?

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2 minutes ago, gorp512 said:

How many times a week do the Huskers lift under Duvall?

Better question is how many times have players had stuff thrown at them or were forced to eat junk food like private Pyle? 

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1 minute ago, Swiv3D said:

Better question is how many times have players had stuff thrown at them or were forced to eat junk food like private Pyle? 

 

I only ask because there is no physical way the Huskers put on as much muscle weight as has been reported by lifting and training to failure like the Maryland staff allegedly had the Terps doing. They wouldn't have lasted until camp if they had. 

 

Those training methods are so archaic and incompetent that it's amazing someone was allowed to do that to players in 2018. They will be slower, more susceptible to injury, and gassed easily. 

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12 hours ago, husker98 said:

This is for Teachercd to respond too but i'll also throw this out for consideration that Bob Devaney would be "seeing how this works".

 

Bob Devaney coached 50 years ago. The profession of coaching, as well as psychology, science, social science, neurology, and so on have all advanced a whole hell of a lot in 50 years and taught us new, better, more effective ways of conducting ourselves. 

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14 hours ago, Landlord said:

 

Bob Devaney coached 50 years ago. The profession of coaching, as well as psychology, science, social science, neurology, and so on have all advanced a whole hell of a lot in 50 years and taught us new, better, more effective ways of conducting ourselves. 

 

Thats true. But for this generation of coaches, and the next generation they are teaching, this is what they know. And worse it has been successful for a good number of them so this culture wont just disappear because some people said its bad all of a sudden. And as this is a success driven industry they will continue to do what they know works because it puts food on the table for them and their families. 

 

These things change with time, and i'm sure it will. And the sport will be better for it. 

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On 8/11/2018 at 10:26 PM, Comfortably Numb said:

 

I went there because that is where Maryland seems to have gone. Of course successful programs are pushed, hard, to achieve that success. Do you really think that is all that is going on with Maryland?

I was referring to going there based on what I wrote rather then Maryland did, but anyhow,  as far as what I know what went on, no I dont know the whole story neither do you.

I do know there is a crowd with pitchforks and they keep running from one spot of the internet to the other with instant judgment .

I prefer for the situation to take it's course with all the details and rebuttals to take place before one can begin to analyze the information and come to a conclusion.

At the start it looked like a espn sensationalizing the story based on the unfortunate rare incident(deaths are not common) and the rather weak complaints.

I played football I was pushed hard, suicide runs are not pleasant and I imagine in college the intensity is far worse. Having things thrown your way or being told you are being a pu&&y is weak sauce, it just is. If that hurts you in life you are going to have a very hard time coping.

Now personally going to wait and read a bit more and hear what everyone has to say, then who knows, maybe they were being very unreasonable and ignorant to the plight of athletes health post the incident, or maybe not. Either way Durkin is likely going.

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Football coaches who *don't* yell and scream and sometimes belittle their players are few and far between.  (One notable exception:  Tom Osborne.)   I'm not sure what the big deal is.  

 

OTOH, the heat stroke thing borders on criminal.  Any football coach--and especially an FBS coach--should know how much he can push players without risk of injury.  It sounds like the Terp coaches went waaay overboard.  

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On 8/11/2018 at 10:49 AM, huKSer said:

 

"Referees aren't people"

    - Bobby Knight

 

 

And the crowd cheered...

 

stupid stupid move. But you can see that it was accepted then. Except by the refs

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37 minutes ago, HuskerInLostWages said:

We would like to announce that DJ has been fired and we are all backing Canada as our new head coach for the 2018 season.

And the next day Durkin gets hired at Ohio State.

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28 minutes ago, The Murphinator said:

And the next day Durkin gets hired at Ohio State.

Well they might be on a hiring freeze at the moment, at least for another few days until their "investigation" is completed.

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