Award cut in death of UCF football player Plancher

Published Aug. 17, 2013

ORLANDO — A Florida appeals court reduced a $10 million damage award to $200,000 in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a UCF football player who died after conditioning drills in 2008. The court, however, denied the UCF Athletic Association a new trial.

A three-judge panel rejected UCF's arguments it was denied a fair trial based on limited presentation time and ruled a medical release form Ereck Plancher signed did not expressly waive his right to sue.

It did rule UCF's control over its athletics association is sufficient for immunity given to state agencies in civil judgments, reducing the award Plancher's parents received in July 2011. Awards above $200,000 must be approved by the Legislature. The court also reversed the awarding of attorney's fees and costs of more than $2 million.

The family will appeal, its attorney, Steve Yerrid of Tampa, said Friday.

The school is pleased to have its position confirmed, UCF spokesman Grant J. Heston said.

Plancher, 19, collapsed after workouts supervised by coach George O'Leary and his staff in March 2008. His parents argued the association, coaches and support staff failed to follow their own procedures to treat Plancher, who, they said, had complications from sickle-cell trait.

The association said everything possible was done to save Plancher's life.

Cal: True freshman quarterback Jared Goff will start, new coach Sonny Dykes said.

Ohio State: Starting cornerback Bradley Roby is considering an offer from an Indiana prosecutor to enter a pretrial diversion program that could result in a misdemeanor assault charge being dismissed. Roby was arrested this summer after an altercation at a Bloomington bar.

Vanderbilt: A fifth player was indicted in the rape of an unconscious student on campus. Chris Boyd, the No. 2 returning receiver, gave another defendant advice on how to cover up the crime, Nashville police said. He has been suspended; the four others have been dismissed.

Basketball: Butler's top returning scorer and rebounder, forward Roosevelt Jones, is out for the season with a wrist injury suffered on the team's recent Australian tour. … Illinois men's assistant Jamall Walker got a two-game postseason ban from the NCAA for, it said, altercations with game officials and a police officer after losing to Miami in last season's NCAA Tournament. … Eckerd promoted assistant men's coach Kendrick Wilson to associate head coach to Tom Ryan.