Oregon Ducks Football Players Hospitalized After Military-Style Training

Oregon Ducks Rose Bowl Photo by Jae Hong AP
Jae Hong/AP
Eugene, OR

Several members of the University of Oregon Ducks ended up in the hospital after engaging in a military-style strenuous strength and conditioning exercise, reports reveal.

The players, offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi, and tight end Cam McCormick arrived at a Springfield, Oregon, hospital showing signs of exhaustion due to excessive exercise according to SportingNews.com.

The players were listed in fair condition as of Monday, a hospital representative said.

According to Sam Poutasi’s family, the player was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis which could lead to kidney damage at its worst.

The Oregonian reported that, “Players this week were required to finish the same workouts, which were described by multiple sources as akin to military basic training, with one said to include up to an hour of continuous push-ups and up-downs. An Oregon official disputed a claim that some players had “passed out,” saying the training staff did not see any players faint. …Some players 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.”

School administrators released a statement saying, “The safety and welfare of all of our student-athletes is paramount in all that we do. 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.”

Oregon’s 4-8 season led to the firing of head coach, Mark Helfrich. His replacement, Willie Taggart, has held the job only about a month. Taggart previously served as head coach for the University of South Florida.

Despite the hospitalizations, though, reports noted that the team imposed the same tough workouts on students in the week after the incident.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.