Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit that alleges the university, former coach Willie Taggart, former strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde and the NCAA were negligent in regards to a set of January 2017 workouts that led to the hospitalization of Brenner and two other players, according to James Crepea of The Oregonian/Oregon Live.
Brenner is looking for $11.5 million in damages after the workouts caused him to suffer rhabdomyolysis—a syndrome in which muscle content breaks down and leaks into the blood stream—and other injuries to close out the final year of his career.
In addition to Brenner, offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis. Poutasi and McCormick are not part of Brenner's lawsuit and both just finished their sophomore season with the Ducks.
In the 18-page suit, it explains the workouts lasted several days after the players returned from break and Taggart told players in advance he and the coaching staff "were going to focus on discipline in strength and conditioning and that they were 'going to find the snakes in the grass and cut their heads off.'"
"Taggart and Oderinde knew of the type of severe consequences that could result from the exercise drill and knowingly conducted the exercise drill with conscious disregard to the detrimental health consequences for the students," the suit says. "... Alternatively, if defendant Oderinde was not aware of the consequences of the exercise drills, he was wholly incompetent to have been hired to perform a job as a strength and conditioning coach for a college football team."
Oderinde was suspended without pay for a month by Oregon after the players were hospitalized. He left with Taggart for Florida State after the 2017 season.
Brenner's senior season ended after he had hip surgery in October 2017 after he played seven games for the Ducks.