Evans Seeks to Promote Open Dialogue
By Liam Farrell
Photo by John T. Consoli
Maryland Athletics has created a new online platform for its student-athletes to share any comments or concerns.
Terps ICA Feedback, launched Friday, allows student-athletes to submit secure messages via a Google Form. They can detail their issue and choose if they want to be contacted by a sports supervisor, senior administrator or Faculty Athletics representative to discuss their feedback.
“As your new athletic director, I want to make sure you have the ability to communicate any issues or concerns you might have. Ensuring an atmosphere that is conducive to open and honest dialogue is of utmost importance,” UMD Athletic Director Damon Evans wrote in a letter to Maryland’s student-athletes. “I encourage you to speak out if you have a challenge, concern or issue.”
Colleen Sorem, deputy athletic director, said this is a way to provide students used to communicating via social media networks and text messaging a more convenient way to contact athletic department staff.
“The goal of this is to give student-athletes more of a voice,” she said. “This is about immediate feedback and immediate concerns.”
The new feedback channel was launched as separate investigations continue into the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who was hospitalized following a May 29 team workout with heatstroke and died 15 days later, and the broader climate of the football program, following media reports of abuse and bullying of players. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents is overseeing both reviews.
In an effort to ensure student-athletes’ safety, Athletics officials have implemented several changes for all sports’ practices, including installing new cooling stations and providing longer and more frequent water breaks.
"We have changed how we practice, and also how we train our staff,” Evans said.
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