The Oregon football program has suspended its strength coach following the hospitalization of three players that were a result of grueling winter workouts.
Irele Oderinde, the strength coach who led the workouts in question, has since been suspended for a month without pay.
Along with the suspension of Oderinde, new Ducks head coach Willie Taggart issued a public apology, accepting some responsibility for the way things happened. Taggart also visited the three players in the hospital.
“I have visited with the three young men involved in the incidents in the past few days and I have been in constant contact with their families, offering my sincere apologies,” Taggart said in the statement, via the Associated Press. “As the head football coach, I hold myself responsible for all of our football-related activities and the safety of our students must come first. I have addressed the issue with our strength and conditioning staff, and I fully support the actions taken today by the university.
“I want to thank our medical staff and doctors for caring for all of our young men, and I want to apologize to the university, our students, alumni and fans.”
One of the hospitalized players was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition where muscle tissue breaks down and leaks into the blood stream. Rhabdomyolsis can cause kidney damage.
When Oderindeis reinstated, he will begin reporting to director of performance and sport science Andrew Murray rather than Taggart.
“The university holds the health, safety and well-being of all of our students in high regard,” director of athletics Rob Mullens said in the statement. “We are confident that these athletes will soon return to full health, and we will continue to support them and their families in their recoveries.”
Photo Credit: Oregon Football