December 08, 2008
To my mother's secret chagrin, I'm neither a lawyer nor a doctor (not that kind of doctor, anyway). But I do know enough to expect Central Florida's going to have a lot of carefully transcribed explaining to do after running back Brandon Davis was diagnosed with acute kidney failure following his collapse during an offseason workout last week.
Accidents happen, so this individual case might not warrant immediate alarm bells if not for the wrongful death suit the Knights could potentially face from the family of Ereck Plancher, who collapsed and died under allegedly harsh or negligent supervision during a workout in March, and news released just before Thanksgiving that UCF's head trainer was absent when Plancher collapsed. Davis' mother, Donna, was not sounding very forgiving Sunday night, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
"We were told [by her son] the workouts were very strenuous and when he passed out, he was rushed to the hospital," she said. "And when he came to at the hospital, he was suffering from acute kidney failure. At the time, his heart also was in distress.
"He had no water in his body due to lack of breaks [in the workout] and not being given any water and fluids. This is what my son has told me and this is what the doctors have also stated is the cause of his injuries."
Davis apparently has no history of medical problems and remains in "guarded" condition, and his mother said his liver may have been damaged, as well. With the Plancher case still hanging over his head, this is the last thing George O'Leary needs after a season in which his team finished 4-8, was dead last nationally in total offense and was caught on national television being rather inhospitable in its loss to Miami. This morning, Sentinel Columnist Mike Bianchi called for a full-fledged investigation into UCF's workout regimen. That won't help ease O'Leary's grudge against the paper, which had to join ESPN in hiring a law firm to get the university to release documents relating to Plancher's death (at this point, that has been officially attributed to a sickle cell gene that made him susceptible to stress). But then, good journalism always leaves everyone angry.