If either Oregon or Willie Taggart thought they were done with each other, at least off the field, both parties can think again.
In January of 2017, three Oregon football players were hospitalized following a workout in the weeks after Willie Taggart, now the head coach at Florida State, was hired as the Ducks’ head coach. One of those players, Doug Brenner, The Oregonian is reporting, is suing Taggart, the University of Oregon, UO’s former strength & conditioning as well as the NCAA for $11.5 million in connection to the incident.
Brenner, along with fellow offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick, was ultimately diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle cells break down and its byproducts are released into the bloodstream. According to Brenner’s lawsuit, his life span has been shortened by upwards of 10 years as a result of “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury… increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain.”
The strength & conditioning coach in charge of the workout that preceded the players’ hospitalization, Irele Oderinde, was suspended by the University of Oregon but reinstated a month later. Oderinde is now a member of Taggart’s support staff at Florida State and is currently listed as the football program’s head strength & conditioning coach.
“The well-being and safety of our students are our top priorities at the University of Oregon,” a statement from the university began. “We have been advised of the litigation filed today 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.”
Neither Taggart nor Florida State has issued a response to the filing of the lawsuit.