Earlier today, we noted that a jury hearing a civil lawsuit brought by the parents of Ereck Plancher found UCF to be negligent in the player’s 2008 death and awarded the family $10 million.
Suffice to say, the university does not agree with the decision that was reached by the six-person panel.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, UCF declared that justice was not done while also confirming that they will appeal the ruling. Here’s the statement in its entirety, which is attributed to UCF spokesperson Grant J. Heston:
“Justice was not done. While we appreciate the hard work of the jury, the wrong decision was reached, although the facts were clear:
— Water and trainers were present at all times.
— The response to Ereck’s distress was quick and appropriate.
— The medical examiner failed to conduct tests that would have shown the real cause of death.”
We will appeal this decision. We are confident that a just and fair appellate review will find that the verdict came about after a number of decisions in the court that prevented a complete review by the jury.
This trial called into question the leadership of our athletics program. The jury also decided UCF AA was not liable for gross negligence and should not face punitive damages. This decision is a vindication of the actions and reputations of our athletics leadership. These individuals are people of outstanding character and integrity who are devoted to the health and safety of our student athletes. They continue to have the confidence of the university’s leadership.
As Coach George O’Leary testified during the trial, we lost a member of the UCF family when Ereck died. Nothing that happened in the past, or that will happen in the future, will change the fact that we continue to miss and grieve the loss of this outstanding young man. We will continue to honor his name and legacy.”