Shortly after Maryland reinstated coach D.J. Durkin on Tuesday, backup Terrapins punter Matthew Barber, one of the players willing to go on the record about the troubled football program, claims he was assaulted by a teammate during a practice.
Per the Baltimore Sun:
Barber, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., said word had gotten around on the team that he is a “whistle-blower” who talked to investigators about problems on the team. When Durkin returned to practice Tuesday to watch the team practice, his supporters on the team felt emboldened and began taunting Barber, he said. Some mocked and insulted him, while others threw footballs at him, Barber said.
Toward the end of the practice, another player attacked Barber, attempting to punch him in the face, Barber said. While the two teammates were fighting, others tried to intervene and grabbed Barber’s arms behind his back, he said. That allowed the other player to punch Barber repeatedly in the face, leaving him with a black eye, needing multiple stitches on his forehead and a dislocated shoulder, Barber said.
“My jersey was bloody,” Barber says. “I had blood all over my hands.”
Multiple sources confirmed the fight to the Sun. The player who sparked the confrontation was not named.
Maryland President Wallace Loh fired Durkin on Wednesday, reversing the Board of Regents decision just a day prior.
That pro-Durkin players would feel emboldened enough to physically harm one of their teammates the moment the coach returned is a decent indication that the culture in College Park is far from healthy. The incident also answers the question why so few players would put their names to their critiques and speak out publicly.