Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner has reached an agreement with the university regarding a lawsuit related to his hospitalization following controversial workouts in 2017, one of Brenner’s attorneys said Thursday. at ESPN.
As part of the settlement, Brenner dismissed claims against former Oregon football coach Willie Taggart, now head coach of Florida Atlantic, and his former strength coach, Irele Oderinde. Financial terms were not disclosed. Brenner is still suing the NCAA for $100 million in punitive damages, and closing arguments began Thursday afternoon.
The law firm Kafoury & McDougal first filed the suit on Brenner’s behalf in January 2019 in an Oregon state circuit court. Brenner was seeking $20 million in non-economic damages and $5.5 million in economic damages in his claims against Oregon, Taggart and Oderinde. The trial began on April 12.
“I am extremely sorry for the incident that occurred, but I am glad that many ‘truths’ have come out during the proceedings,” Taggart said in a statement to ESPN. “Now my full focus is on our FAU football family and our student-athletes.”
Brenner’s legal team is still seeking massive punitive damages from the NCAA, arguing that she ‘acted maliciously or showed reckless and outrageous indifference in the face of a highly unreasonable risk of harm’ because he didn’t There are no specific rules or regulations regarding overworked players during practices. .
The NCAA argues that it does not have the authority to pass health and safety regulations — member schools and conferences are responsible for player health and safety.
Oderinde, who was later hired by Taggart at Florida State for the same position, was suspended by Oregon in 2017 for a month without pay after tight end Cam McCormick and offensive lineman Sam Poutasi were hospitalized with Brenner and suffered from rhabdomyolysis following workouts. conducted shortly after Taggart was hired in Oregon.
According to the lawsuit, the workout lasted 60 to 90 minutes and the staff “did not make water available in the workout room for at least the first day of the workouts.” The lawsuit also says that about 40 players from each group had to do “10 perfect push-ups in unison,” and if one of the athletes was out of sync or not using perfect technique, all players had to climb and descend and repeat the exercise.
Brenner, McCormick and Poutasi rejoined the team after their hospitalizations, but the incident prompted Oregon to change its reporting system, with the strength and conditioning coach reporting to the director of performance and sport science of Ducks instead of the head coach.
According to the Oregonian, the university, Taggart and Oderinde argued during the trial that the workouts were excessive, but were not intended to be punitive. Oderinde apologized during his testimony last week, according to the Oregonian.
“You never want kids to be injured in any way, especially in practice or even practice,” Oderinde said Thursday, according to The Oregonian. “But at the same time you want to push the kids and you want to push them safely. I feel like with today’s result, I believe Doug understands that our intention was never for that, it was to build young men and build a team.”
Oregon, in a statement Thursday, said “trial testimony showed that no one at OU intended to harm a student, and that our response and the care we provided to our students after the accident were the best we could provide, which we believe has enabled the students to make a full recovery.At this point, the terms of the settlement agreement are confidential as they are being finalized .