California head coach Sonny Dykes yells out instructions during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez
January 31, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The University of California has admitted its negligence was a substantial factor in the death of former California football player Ted Agu.

The 21-year-old defensive lineman died nearly two years ago after a strenuous team workout.

His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, arguing that Agu had sickle cell trait and should not have been put through an exercise where players sprinted up and down a hill while holding a rope together.

Experts say sickle cell, an inherited condition, can affect some athletes during periods of intense exercise.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports ( ) the university acknowledged liability in court papers signed Monday.

UC Berkeley officials said in a statement that by declining to contest liability, they could focus the legal proceedings on appropriate compensation for Agu's family.

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