Multiple Oregon players hospitalized following strenuous workouts

Oregon hired Willie Taggart as head coach on Dec. 7. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Oregon hired Willie Taggart as head coach on Dec. 7. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Multiple Oregon football players have been hospitalized as a result of intense strength and conditioning workouts.

According to The Oregonian, at least three Ducks players — offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick — are listed in fair condition at a hospital just outside Eugene and have been there since late last week. Poutasi’s mother told The Oregonian her son has been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis.

From The Oregonian:

Poutasi’s mother, Oloka, said that her son complained of very sore arms after the workouts and had been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a syndrome in which soft muscle tissue is broken down with “leakage into the blood stream of muscle contents,” according to the NCAA medical handbook. Depending on the severity, it has the potential to lead to damaged kidneys.

“The safety and welfare of all of our student-athletes is paramount in all that we do,” Oregon wrote in a statement on behalf of the entire athletic department. “While we cannot comment on the health of our individual students, we have implemented modifications as we transition back into full training to prevent further occurrences. We thank our medical staff and trainers for their continued monitoring of the students and we will continue to support our young men as they recover.”

Oregon players, who have been under the guidance of new head coach Willie Taggart for just over a month, continued to participate in the same workouts this week. Per The Oregonian, those workouts have been compared to basic military training, including “up to an hour of continuous push-ups and up-downs.” Oregon’s strength coach is Irele Oderinde, who came over to the school from USF with Taggart.

From The Oregonian:

Players this week were required to finish the same workouts, which were described by multiple sources as akin to military basic training, with one including up to an hour of continuous push-ups and up-downs. The sources said that some players “passed out” and others later complained of discolored urine, which is a common symptom of rhabdomyolysis. After testing, others were found to have highly elevated levels of creatine kinase, an indicator of the syndrome.

Similarly in 2011, 13 Iowa players were hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis after intense winter workouts. One of those players, cornerback William Lowe, sued the school, saying he incurred lasting harm. Lowe and the university reached a $15,000 settlement in 2016.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!