The jury hearing the case of Ereck Plancher, the University of Central Florida football player who died during a pre-practice conditioning workout in 2008, found the UCF Athletic Association to be guilty of negligence. It was found by the jury that the school failed to do everything possible to save the player’s life. The jury awarded Plancher’s parents $10 million. But the athletic department at the school was found to be not guilty of gross negligence.
The case garnered national attention after several players went public to describe the intensity of the workout. They also said that Plancher was clearly struggling at the end of the workout when he fell at the end of some sprints. Some teammates had to help him up, but coaches yelled at them to stop. Head football coach George O’Leary initially understated the intensity of the workouts. The school didn’t interview players about the incident until more than a month after Plancher’s death. UCF lawyers had tried to prove that Plancher’s suffering from sickle cell trait had led to his sudden death. Lawyers for the player’s family called experts who testified that there is “no evidence-based proof” that sickle cell trait caused the player’s death.
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