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Claims against Willie Taggart, Irele Oderinde dismissed as former Duck settles with Oregon

Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner settled the lawsuit against his former school, more than five years after a winter workout put him in the hospital.

Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner has settled his lawsuit against the school and dismissed claims against former head coach Willie Taggart and former strength coach Irele Oderinde as part of that settlement, according to The Oregonian

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brenner sought a combined $25.5 million in damages from Oregon and the two coaches. His $100 million suit against the NCAA continues, with closing arguments expected Thursday afternoon.

Brenner was one of three Ducks hospitalized in January 2017 with rhabdomyolysis following winter workouts supervised by Oderinde and authorized by Taggart. Fellow offensive lineman Sam Poutasi also sued; his case has since been settled. Tight end Cam McCormick is still on Oregon's roster.

“We have always felt Doug Brenner was a member of the University of Oregon scholar athlete community that we admired and we were always hopeful that we could resolve our differences with him,” Stephen English of Perkins Coie, which represented UO, Taggart and Oderinde in the trial, told the paper. “Thankfully events occurred which allowed us to resolve these difference in a manner that we felt was beneficial both to the University of Oregon and to Doug Brenner.”

Oderinde apologized to the three players in his testimony.

“I feel like I owe him a public apology,” Oderinde said. “Doug, to you, your mother, your sister, to Sam (Poutasi), to Cam (McCormick), I’m sincerely sorry. It was not my intent. Not by any means. The person that I am and I think you know. That wasn’t my intent and I’m sincerely sorry for that.”

Taggart struck a different tone in his time on the witness stand.

“I’m here because for the first time in my life my character has been attacked,” Taggart said. “I’m here because I’ve never been attacked in my life. Everyone that knows me knows that I’m a good person. I don’t intend to hurt anyone. That’s something that I’m prideful for and it’s something that I’m going to fight for for the rest of my life because that’s my intent, is to help these young men reach their dreams, goals and aspirations. The first time in my career, in my life, I’ve been accused of hurting our players and punishing our players and I can’t allow that to happen because that’s not me.”

Taggart spent one season at Oregon before taking the Florida State job. He is now the head coach at Florida Atlantic. Oderinde, who joined Taggart at Oregon from South Florida, has since been fired from his job at the strength coach for USF's women's basketball team. 

Expert testimony on Brenner's behalf claim his life was shortened 10 to 15 years due to the workouts.

“Coach Taggart and coach Oderinde felt strongly that this was a case which was an attack on the integrity of their coaching and an attack on their life goals of being good coaches and good mentors,” English said. “We believe there is a recognition — we hope there is a recognition now that these are two good men that simply had an unfortunate event occur.”

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.