The University of Oregon hired Willie Taggart in December 2016. Taggart brought Irele Oderinde along from South Florida to serve as his head strength coach.
In early January something went wrong.
Multiple players were hospitalized following workouts in early January, each was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis.
One of those players, Doug Brenner, has now filed a lawsuit seeking $11.5 million from Taggart, Oderinde, Oregon and the NCAA claiming negligence related to the workouts. In the complaint, Brenner alleges Taggart and Oderinde were negligent in imposing the workouts which Brenner describes as “physical punishment regimens”.
The Oregonian, who broke the news back in 2017 of the players being hospitalized as a result of the workouts, reported the workouts were “akin to military basic training, with one said to include up to an hour of continuous push-ups and up-downs. When players could not finish the warm-up perfectly, they started over, with some groups repeating the process for up to an hour.”
One of Brenner’s attorneys said in a statement, “The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions.” The statement continues, “A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts.”
The lawsuit contends players were not permitted to drink water during the first day of the workouts.
At the time, Taggart suspended Oderinde for a month without pay. When Taggart was hired at the end of 2017 to become the new head coach at Florida State he hired Oderinde as his head strength coach at Florida State.
Oregon Live has much more on the lawsuit here.
We will update you as more becomes available on this story. As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest information on the coaching profession.