Report: Deceased Cal football player's family files wrongful death suit

Monday August 4th, 2014

The Regents of the University of California face a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of former Cal football player Ted Agu, who passed away after a training run with teammates in February.

A news conference to announce the suit is scheduled for Tuesday at Alameda County Courthouse.

Multiple team staff supervised the run, which took place near the Bears' on-campus football stadium, California Memorial Stadium, according to reports. When Agu was seen struggling, he was transported on a cart approximately 150 yards to the stadium.

Agu collapsed around 7 a.m. on February 7 and was given CPR. He was then transferred to Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, Calif., and pronounced dead

The Agu family's lawyers released a statement Monday, via 

 "Despite the symptoms which clearly could and should have been observed, UCB coaches and trainers failed to immediately come to Agu's assistance. It was only after Agu struggled and encountered obvious difficulties for a significant period of time that intervention occurred and he was placed on a cart and taken back towards the stadium, where he collapsed for the last time."

The release also states, "During the course of the conditioning drill, Agu experienced dizziness, shortness of breath, loss of balance, and other signs of extreme fatigue that were clearly symptomatic of the sickling process." reported in February that Agu had the sickle cell trait. The report was later deleted.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported in April that Agu died from a heart condition characterized by excessive thickening of the heart muscle called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which claimed the lives of basketball players Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis and is considered a common cause of sudden death among athletes.

Arkansas coach Bret Beilema drew harsh criticism after bringing up Agu's death in February while arguing for a proposed rule change designed to slow down fast-pace offenses. The proposal has since been withdrawn.

Agu arrived at Cal in 2010 as a walk-on but earned a scholarship last year. He recorded six tackles and seven games in 2013 and would have been a senior in 2014.

- Chris Johnson

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