Former Oregon OL Doug Brenner Suing NCAA for $100M in Punitive Damages

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2022

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 02: University of Oregon OL Doug Brenner (57) warms up prior to the start of the game during a college football game between the Southern Utah Thunderbirds and Oregon Ducks on September 2, 2017, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR.  (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner is seeking $100 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit against the NCAA, alleging he suffered lifelong injuries from workouts as a player in 2017, per ESPN's Heather Dinich.

The University of Oregon, former head football coach Willie Taggart and former strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde are also named as defendants. 

The trial is set to begin Tuesday in Eugene, Oregon.

Brenner was one of three players hospitalized following offseason workouts shortly after Taggart was hired at Oregon. 

Oderinde was suspended for one month following the hospitalizations. 

The lawsuit detailed the intense training sessions, stating "student-athletes vomited, passed out or collapsed during the workouts."

Brenner said he suffered from rhabdomyolysis as a result of the workouts, a condition that breaks down skeletal muscle tissue. According to the lawsuit, it has caused permanent damage to his kidneys, and his "life expectancy has been reduced by about 10 years," per Dinich.

The lawsuit also contends that Oderinde didn't have industry-required certification for his role.

Oregon disputed the claims in a statement to ESPN:

"The health and safety of our students is our highest priority. There was a quick response to Doug Brenner's injury, and he was provided the best care possible. We are grateful that he made a full recovery and was able to play during the 2017 season and also graduate from the University of Oregon. We disagree with the claims made by Mr. Brenner's attorneys in their lawsuit and will address those in court."

Brenner played seven games as a redshirt senior in 2017 and was named Honorable Mention Academic All-Pac-12.

He initially filed a lawsuit in 2019, seeking $11.5 million from the NCAA, but the latest filing increased the claim for pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages.

Last year, the University of Maryland agreed to a $3.5 million settlement with the family of Jordan McNair, a former football player who died after suffering heatstroke during a 2018 workout.