“Physically Damaging Workouts” cited in $12M Suit Against University of Oregon and NCAA

Doug Brenner, former offensive lineman for the University of Oregon, has brought suit against the school, the NCAA, and two coaches for $11.5 million. Brenner contends that the “extreme” workouts players were forced to endure resulted in such “serious, lifelong injuries,” and that his body is “ruined.”

Coach Willie Taggart and strength and conditioning Coach Irele Oderinde were recently added to the complaint, and Brenner alleges that the coaches implemented “physically impossible and unreasonably repetitious” routines for Brenner and the other football players. Brenner states that it was common for athletes to vomit, collapse, or pass out during the workouts.

Subsequent to workouts that took place in January 2017, three football players were hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the body consumes its own muscle tissue. According to the complaint, the condition left Brenner with permanent kidney damage.

The suit claims that the two coaches, the University, and the NCAA knew or should’ve known that the physical regime presented significant risk of injury to the athletes, particularly during winter and summer breaks, when the athletes were not used to such intense exertion.

Brenner’s attorneys released a statement in which he noted, “These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death.” Guidelines, however, are only suggestions. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce binding regulations that outlaw these practices.” Furthermore, they continued, “This story closely parallels the NCAA’s past refusal to turn its concussion guidelines into regulations, a failure that has led to countless brain injuries, the full extent of which will only become apparent in coming decades.”

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