Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans acknowledged Wednesday that an altercation broke out during Tuesday’s football practice, an incident that may have been a product of the coaching turmoil at College Park.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for our football student-athletes,” Evans said in a statement released Wednesday night. “However, we take any matters involving physical altercations extremely seriously. We are talking with the players involved and will take appropriate actions based on the facts.”

Earlier Wednesday, Maryland fired football coach DJ Durkin just one day after reinstating him from an 80-day administrative leave following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair. The attorney for the McNair family, Billy Murphy, alleged that the altercation involved one player who supported Durkin and another rumored to be “a whistleblower.” Murphy said the “pro-Durkin” player was the instigator.

Details of the incident remain unclear. WUSA 9 posted video of the interview to its Facebook page.

“He punched him viciously in his face,” Murphy says in the video. He claims the player who was hit needed stitches and an MRI exam for a separated shoulder.

McNair, a 19-year-old offensive lineman, suffered exertional heatstroke at a team workout in May and died several days later. In the wake of his death, difficult questions arose about Durkin and the football program he was running College Park.


An attorney for the family of Jordan McNair alleges that a punch was thrown between two teammates, one who supported coach DJ Durkin and one who was rumored to be a whistle-blower. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Read more:

Svrluga: Maryland rights a wrong — but it remains a long way from being out of the woods

DJ Durkin, Maryland part ways following outcry over coach’s reinstatement

A timeline of events at the University of Maryland in Jordan McNair saga

Maryland football players react to DJ Durkin’s departure: ‘Pressure busts pipes doesn’t it??’