Former Oregon Football Player Loses Case Against NCAA

Former Oregon offensive lineman Doug Brenner lost his civil case on Friday vs. the NCAA, in which he sued for damages based on an incident in Jan. 2017 when he and two other football players were hospitalized with exertional rhabdomyolysis.

The circuit court in Lane County, Ore. found the NCAA negligent, but that it did not cause damages in a 10–2 majority vote in favor of the NCAA.

The jury voted in favor of the NCAA as it could not unilaterally enact bylaws within the organization’s constitution. The NCAA argued that the association is separate from its members because of this.

Brenner was originally seeking $20 million in non-economic damages and $5.5 million in economic damages in his case against the University of Oregon, former football coach Willie Taggart and former strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde. Additionally, Brenner sued the NCAA for $100 million in punitive damages due to the organization failing to regulate the workouts that caused his and the two other players’ injuries.

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The former lineman was able to settle with the university on Thursday morning ahead of the verdict. He earned $500,000 in the settlement, and dismissed his claims against Taggart and Oderinde.

Following the settlement, Brenner released a statement through the university apologizing for involving his two former coaches in this case.

“The events surrounding this lawsuit happened years ago,” Brenner said, via The Oregonian. “As competitors we all know that, in the heat of battle, things are said and done during competition, whether on the practice field, the game field, or in a lawsuit. I am sorry to learn of Coach O’s termination now for things that happened years ago. After hearing Coach T and Coach O’s testimony, I now understand that the workouts that led us here were intended as team building exercises and that they got out of hand.”

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