Columbia, SC (USA TODAY, WLTX) — The day after a report about the culture of the Maryland football program under DJ Durkin, South Carolina Gamecocks Head Coach Will Muschamp defended the character of his former assistant and decried the use of anonymous sources in reporting the article.
Friday's ESPN article cited two unnamed former Maryland staff members in addition to two unnamed current players. The article said there was a culture of intimidation and humiliation among the coaching staff before offensive lineman Jordan McNair's death.
Maryland announced Friday night that it has placed some athletic staffers on administrative leave as McNair's death is investigated. Late Saturday afternoon, they also announced that Durkin had been placed on leave. McNair died two weeks after collapsing at a workout.
Muschamp defended Durkin and disagreed with the coach's portrayal in the article. It should be noted Muschamp's comments came before Maryland made the decision to put Durkin on leave.
He said he had, however, spoken to Durkin Saturday morning.
"He's an outstanding football coach," Muschamp said during a news conference. "He's also an outstanding husband and father, and he treats people with respect."
He went on to assail how the article was reported.
"There's no credibility in anonymous sources," Muschamp said. "If that former staffer had any guts, why didn't he put his name on that?"
He added: "I think it's a lack of journalistic integrity to print things with anonymous sources."
The use of unnamed sources has been a practice for as long as reporting has existed, but some subjects and critics decry anonymous sourcing, claiming that there's a lack of accountability.
Durkin, entering his third season at Maryland, coached under Muschamp at Florida from 2012-14. Durkin took over as the Gators' interim head coach in 2014 after Muschamp stepped down.
"I know DJ Durkin personally. I know what kind of man he is and I know what kind of person he is," Muschamp said.