On Sept. 22, 2012, USC cornerback Brian Baucham took the field against California, collapsed on the field during the fourth quarter and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance, where he spent several days on a ventilator.
Now, nearly two years to the day later, he is suing USC and then-head coach Lane Kiffin, claiming that the school and coach knew he was ill and forced him to play anyway.
"USC and head coach Kiffin were clearly negligent and acted with conscious disregard for Brian's welfare and safety by forcing him to play ... despite his verified medical history and seriously ill condition," said Baucham's attorney, Bruce M. Brusavich.
Bauchum, who had suffered a concussion two months prior, claims he has since suffered from "cardiopulmonary damage" and "brain injury with neurocognitive deficits" since taking the field that September day.
We do not have the slightest clue on the merits to this case, and the point of this article isn't to lean one way or the other. We have no idea. We are putting this out there to remind coaches that if a player says he is sick or can't go, don't play him. Listen to your medical experts on staff. (And, again, we're not saying Kiffin failed to do that in this case.)
As Doug on our staff said: The days of telling players to suck it up and play through it are coming to an end.