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Rob Gronkowski helps former Maryland football player pull off WrestleMania 33 upset

Rob Gronkowski helps former Maryland football player pull off WrestleMania 33 upset

On Sunday night, The WWE held WrestleMania 33, their biggest pay-per-view of the year.

In the event's opening match, a bevy of WWE superstars competed in the annual "Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale," and in a stunning turn of events the match was won by Mojo Rawley.

While this may not mean much on the surface, it should be pointed out that Mojo Rawley is the character portrayed by former Maryland Terrapins defensive lineman Dean Muhtadi.

After a solid career at Maryland in which he set numerous team weight room records and became the only player in school history to play every position on the defensive line in a single game, Muhtadi spent two seasons in the NFL as a member of the Cardinals and Packers practice squad. Muhtadi turned to pro wrestling and signed with WWE in 2012, becoming Mojo Rawley .

On Sunday night, Rawley scored undoubtedly the biggest victory of his career, besting the likes of Sami Zayn and Braun Strowman. But it wasn't without some outside help from none other than Rob Gronkowski. The real-life friend of Muhtadi hopped into the ring and helped Mojo Rawley gain the upper hand and eliminate the final two superstars.

As you will see in the video, Rawley's trunks and pads were emblazoned with the Maryland state flag.

Yes, wrestling is scripted. But heading into WrestleMania, few could predict Rawley be one of the final superstars left in the Battle Royale, let alone win it. But it wouldn't be WrestleMania without some outside celebrity help, and there are few celebrities inside the sports world bigger than Rob Gronkowski.

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Tony Dungy weighs in on the alleged toxic culture within the University of Maryland football team

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USA TODAY Sports

Tony Dungy weighs in on the alleged toxic culture within the University of Maryland football team

Tony Dungy is about as cool, calm and collected as a person can get. And when it comes to his coaching style, it's exactly the same.

Fourteen years in the NFL spent as a defensive coordinator/coach and 13 years as a head coach earned Dungy a Super Bowl Championship with the Indianapolis Colts. He posted an overall record of 148-79 with the foundation that cursing and raising your voice wasn't necessary for success. 

The culture and coaching style of the University of Maryland football team is now under a microscope with the on-going investigation regarding the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair. The university has taken responsibility for McNair's death after an ESPN article brought to light the abuse and "toxic culture" within the team, and what ultimately led up to McNair's passing under their supervision on May 29. 

It has also brought into question how high-level football teams are coached and if it's all just a part of the football culture. On Thursday, Dungy weighed in on the matter on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies, simulcasted on NBC Sports Washington.

"Well first, I hope we don't just read into well, here was the culture, here's what the coach was doing so that's why this young man died," Dungy said.

Dungy recounted a scenario during his coaching career with the Colts where a player had an underlying condition that almost caused him to lose his life during a practice.

"You can't equate well, this happened because," Dungy went on to say. 

What Dungy does want people to understand is that the tough love, scream-in-your-face type of coaching style is not the stereotype coaches must adhere to. 

"But I do think we are a victim of caricatures. That we think that's the way it has to be."

"One of the last interviews I had before I got my head [coaching] job in Tampa, I was explaining to this owner how I was going to do things. He had heard about my reputation. He said 'I know you don't use profanity. You rarely raise your voice. How are you going to motivate these guys? How are you going to discipline? How are you going to keep guys in line?' And I said the same way my father kept me in line. By saying here's the rules and here's what we're going to do. I'm going to be like that with my players. And the guy looked at me square in the eyes and said 'impossible, that will never work in the NFL.'" 

Well, it did work for Dungy as his tenure spent as a coach in the NFL earned him enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Dungy noted in his interview with the Sports Junkies that the different personalities of coaches in the league highlighted in shows like HBO's Hard Knocks do not represent each and every coach. He mentions Jim Caldwell and Bill Belichick as successful coaches who are more mild-mannered like Dungy.

"And there's a thousand ways that work," Dungy said about coaching. "And you got to be true to your personality and everything. But the two coaches that I played for in the NFL – who won seven Super Bowls between them and were tremendous coaches, Hall of Famers – there was none of that. There was instruction, teaching, motivating, building you up and getting you ready to play, and so that's what I followed." 

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Maryland's strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigns after the death of Jordan McNair

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Maryland's strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigns after the death of Jordan McNair

On Tuesday during a press conference, the University of Maryland announced the removal of head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court.

This announcement comes in the wake of disturbing details leading up to, and including, the death of football player Jordan McNair.

It was also revealed that head football coach D.J. Durkin remains on administrative leave according to athletic director Damon Evans.  

Prior to this announcement, Court resigned and reached a settlement with the university.

During the press conference, university president Wallace Loh also stated that the university would take responsibility for McNair's death.

"The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29, which of course led subsequently to his death," Loh said.

"Some of the actions of our athletic training staff, not the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, they basically misdiagnosed the situation. No vital signs were taken, other safeguard actions that should have been taken were not.”

McNair's died as the result of a heat stroke that occurred during the aforementioned workout. Collapsing on the field due to exhaustion, the 19-year-old suffered a seizure and the authorities were not contacted for nearly an hour. McNair would pass two weeks later.

Not much information on the internal investigation was released by the school up until the latest report from ESPN this past Friday. In this report, ESPN detailed a “toxic culture” that ultimately led to the death of the young football player. Court was at the center of these remarks and was given a lot of the blame for what happened.

After the allegations on Friday, Maryland put Durkin on leave due to "allegations of inappropriate behavior" along with other staffers that included Court. 

Matt Canada is currently the interim head coach of the Terps in his first season with the team. Canada was named Durkin's offensive coordinator this season after being fired from the same position at LSU. 

Maryland kicks off their football season in less than three weeks, hosting Texas on September 1. 

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