After a rough couple of days, Oregon and its former head football coach have caught a break on the legal front.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner had filed an $11.5 million lawsuit against the University of Oregon, Willie Taggart, UO’s strength & conditioning coach and the NCAA. Shortly thereafter, current Ducks offensive lineman Sam Poutasi filed a $5 million lawsuit naming the same defendants.
Saturday afternoon, a third Oregon player, Cam McCormick, announced on Twitter that while he “respects my teammates immensely and their very difficult decision to take that path,” he will not be filing a lawsuit.
In January of 2017, McCormick, Brenner and Poutasi were hospitalized following a workout in the weeks after Taggart, now the head coach at Florida State, was hired as the Ducks’ head coach. The three players were all 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.” Poutasi’s lawsuit cites “physical and emotional pain, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and diminishment of avocational abilities,” while mentioning kidney damage as well.
Both Poutasi and McCormick are still listed on UO’s online roster. The former played in five games this past season, the latter in one.
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.