Oregon Player Sam Poutasi Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, School for $5 Million

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 19: Isolated view of Oregon Ducks helmets on the sideline during the Ducks game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Sam Poutasi filed a $5 million negligence lawsuit against the NCAA, the University of Oregon, former Ducks head coach Willie Taggart and former Ducks strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde in relation to a January 2017 offseason workout that led to him spending a week in the hospital.

On Friday, James Crepea of The Oregonian reported Poutasi is seeking damages for "physical and emotional pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and diminishment of avocational abilities, in the past, present, and future" after he suffered rhabdomyolysis.

Former Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner filed a similar lawsuit Wednesday, seeking $11.5 million in damages from the same "strenuous" workouts.

The lawsuits allege players were not allowed to drink water during the first day of workouts and the sessions were likened to basic military training, per Crepea.

Brenner told Fox 12 Oregon his body "gave out" during the final day but added that he felt the pressure to perform because the staff was "trying to see who was going to quit."

"My pee was black. Looked like coffee. My arms were so big and swollen, I couldn't take my own shirt off," Brenner said. "I couldn't even reach my face to eat."

He added: "My body is ruined. My kidneys are damaged. My life might be shorter because of this."

Crepea provided a statement Oregon issued in response to both lawsuits:

"The well-being and safety of our students are our top priorities at the University of Oregon. We have been advised of the litigation filed [Thursday], but have not been served a copy of the complaint, at which point we will respond appropriately in the court proceedings. In light of the pending litigation, we don't have any additional comment at this time."

Taggart currently serves as head coach of the Florida State Seminoles. Oderinde is also at FSU as the team's head strength and conditioning coach.


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