Former Oregon Ducks OL Doug Brenner adds $100M damages claim to lawsuit against NCAA

Doug Brenner, a former Oregon offensive player, is suing NCAA for $100 million in punitive damage in a trial that starts Tuesday in Eugene. It also names Willie Taggart, the University of Oregon’s former head football coach, and the University of Oregon as defendants.

Brenner claims he suffered lifelong injuries in the lawsuit after he did a series of controversial workouts back in 2017.

Kafoury & McDougal filed the suit for Brenner in January 2019, in Oregon’s circuit court. The suit sought $11.5million from the NCAA. ESPN obtained documents that show that Brenner increased his claim for pain and suffering to $6 million to $20 millions and added the claim against NCAA for punitive damages.

After discovery, which included depositions by Mark Emmert, NCAA president, and Brian Hainline chief medical officer respectively, the firm filed the amended suit on March 24. Brenner also names Irele Oderinde (ex-coach for Oregon strength and conditioning) as a defendant. Taggart was hired by Oregon in December 2016 and is expected to be present at the trial along with Oderinde.

After one season in Oregon, Taggart moved to Florida State as the head coach. He was fired after his second season. He is now Florida Atlantic’s coach. The lawsuit accuses Taggart, Oderinde, and all other defendants of negligence. They are accused of imposing physical punishment upon the players, failing prohibit it, and failing ensure that Oderinde received adequate training to perform his job.

According to the lawsuit Oderinde didn’t have the industry-required certification to coach strength and conditioning at Oregon.

“I care about every one of the players I’ve coached like they are my own sons, and I want each of them to be successful on and off the field,”Taggart stated this in a statement to ESPN. “I would never want any of them to suffer any injury. I disagree with the things Doug Brenner has said in his complaint and am sorry we’re involved in this lawsuit. But I still wish him the best.”

ESPN reached out to the NCAA for comment on Sunday night.

ESPN was provided with the following statement by a spokesperson for Oregon University: “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’s legal team has filed a massive claim for punitive damages from NCAA. “acted with malice or has shown a reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm”Because there isn’t any specific rule or bylaw that prohibits players from overexerting themselves during workouts. The NCAA argues it doesn’t have the authority or the power to pass health safety bylaws. Members schools and conferences are responsible in player’s safety and health.

“Plaintiffs appear to contend that the dozens of guidelines and best practices found in the 140-page Sports Medicine Handbook relating to the conduct of workouts should be subject to monitoring, investigation, and enforcement,”The NCAA wrote in opposition. “This is unworkable.”

According to the lawsuit Taggart informed players that he and new coaches were going focus on discipline in strength training and conditioning when he was hired. “going to find the snakes in the grass and cut their heads off.”

According to the document, the workouts took places every morning on four consecutive working days. Brenner was in a group that began at 6 AM. The lawsuit alleges that Taggart & Oderinde failed to review the training program with Oregon’s sports medical staff.

According to the document, the exercise lasted between 60 and 90 minutes. The staff was also involved. “did not make water available in the workout room for at least the first day of the workouts.”In the lawsuit, it is also stated that each group required approximately 40 players to participate. “10 perfect push-ups in unison,”If an athlete was out of tune with the rest or did not use proper technique, the entire team had to do up-downs to restart the drill.

The lawsuit claims that this occurred over several days. “student athletes vomited, passed out, or collapsed during the workouts.”It states that Oregon’s medical staff is excellent. “acknowledged that the workout went beyond the student athletes’ natural limits after the first day, but rather than stop the workouts, university staff brought in oxygen tanks on the second day.”

Oderinde was later hired at Florida State by Taggart for the same job. Oregon suspended Oderinde in 2017. This was after tight end Cam McCormick (Offensive Lineman) and offensive lineman Sam Poutasi (Offensive Lineman) were admitted to Brenner. They suffered from rhabdomyolysis after Taggart’s workouts.

According to the lawsuit, Brenner’s life expectancy has been cut by approximately 10 years due to permanent damage to his kidneys. Rhabdomyolysis can cause kidney damage depending on the severity.

“I’ve never talked to a president that they think that the responsibility is of a sport association to tell them how their medical professionals and training professionals should behave on campus,”According to a transcript from Emmert’s deposition, Emmert stated these words. “Rather the association’s role is to provide them with guidance and advice and understanding of where the best science is and medical advice is, but not to police their local behavior. That’s not been a role that the association in 115 years has ever deemed was the appropriate thing for an athletic association to do.”

According to the NCAA’s opposition filed on March 1 against the inclusion of punitive damage, the NCAA argued Brenner’s proposal “would attempt to replace the on-the-field medical judgments of experienced athletic trainers, coaches and team medical staff in Oregon with the administrative staff of a non-medical sports associated located in Indiana.”

The NCAA stated Brenner and his lawyers were not allowed to participate in the NCAA’s judging process. “failed to articulate what rule or bylaw should have (or could have) been adopted by the NCAA or its members.”

Poutasi, McCormick, Brenner and McCormick rejoined the team. However, Oregon had to change its reporting system after the incident. The strength and conditioning coach was now answering to the Ducks director of performance sports science, instead of the head coach. Taggart made a public apology at the time. “I hold myself responsible for all of our football-related activities, and the safety of our students must come first.”

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