Coach testifies in football death trial

June 23, 2011 at 9:06 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., June 23 (UPI) -- A Florida football coach testified in a wrongful death trial he did not order removal of trainers and water from a workout at which a player collapsed and died.

University of Central Florida Coach George O'Leary was questioned by lawyers for the family of Ereck Plancher, who collapsed and died shortly after off-season conditioning drills March 18, 2008.

O'Leary, who with his staff was supervising Plancher's final workout, testified no athletic trainers were ordered to leave the fieldhouse and no water was removed from the facility during the workout, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

UCF Athletics Association policy is to monitor athletes during workouts, assure they are hydrated and watch for any signs of the athletes are having difficulties, the newspaper reported.

Orange County Associate Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany testified Wednesday Plancher died from complications related to sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder that can cause red blood cells to break down organs when the body is under extreme stress.

UCFAA attorneys questioned Stephany, arguing he failed to do all tests necessary that would have proved Plancher's death was caused by an undiagnosed heart condition.

They said the jury should find no one was negligent for 19-year-old Plancher's death following the UCF football workout.

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