Athletic Trainer not allowed to be at practice and death ensues.

19 Mar

Orlando, FL – The death of University of Central Florida football player Ereck Plancher in the off-season of 2008 is still under investigation.  Ereck died from an extremely strenuous obstacle course after a workout.  The strain of the workout and then the obstacle course triggered his blood cells to sickle and the resulting cascade of events eventually causing his death according to the autopsy results.

What is at issue in this case is the reported lack of water and medical help available to the practice.

Former UCF wide receiver Anthony Davis stated in the deposition no athletic trainers assisted Plancher as he showed signs of distress during a challenging obstacle course. Davis also stated UCF coach George O’Leary repeatedly cursed at Plancher when he failed to keep up with his teammates late in the workout.

Davis was asked by a Plancher family attorney during the deposition whether there were athletic trainers around when UCF finished agility drills and lined up for an obstacle course the players were not expecting inside the indoor practice facility on March 18, 2009.

“Yes, there were trainers around,” Davis said, according to the transcript of the deposition taken Feb. 14. “Then moments later once everything was really set up, Coach O’Leary told everyone to leave. The water to leave and the trainers to leave.”

Davis was then asked, “What do you mean, he told you – the water to leave?”

Davis responded, “He just said, I don’t want any water. All waters I want outside, and I want the trainers to get away from the players and please go outside. He screamed it and that’s what happened.”

Davis stated Plancher had labored breathing, uncharacteristically lagged behind his teammates and fell flat on his face trying to sprint down the field. Davis indicated athletic trainer Robert Jackson did not assist Plancher until after the workout ended, Plancher collapsed and teammates were helping carry him out of the indoor practice facility.

As a strength coach, I have always wondered what in the world college strength coaches are possibly thinking with some of the workouts and programming that they put in the off-season.  Is this type of workout with the screaming and cursing really creating better athletes and preventing injury?  Is this training or work?

As an athletic trainer, I have to wonder why the athletic trainer was told to leave and take the water?  Why did the AT leave?  Would you leave a training session when a coach is yelling for you to leave?  Such a tough situation!

One Response to “Athletic Trainer not allowed to be at practice and death ensues.”


  1. Reebok Trainers - August 26, 2011

    Reebok Trainers…

    Athletic Trainer not allowed to be at practice and death ensues. « promotetheprofession…

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