There’s a saying that goes something like this “push yourself because, no one else is going to do it for you.”
Unfortunately for three University of Oregon football players they had someone to push them to limits that landed them in the hospital. The week of January 9th 2017 offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi as well as tight end Cam McCormick were hospitalized after partaking in a series of strength and conditioning workouts. Following this incident there was a huge rise in questioning the severity of workouts that athletes partake in, the trust in coaches, and the basic safety of athletes. Following this incident, Irele Oderinde, the strength and conditioning coach for the football was suspended for one month without pay. With this happening what does it now mean for University of Oregon’s football team or even their athletics as a whole?
For many years the University of Oregon has been a powerhouse for athletics ranging from all sports. Having Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon and co-founder Phil Knight, a University of Oregon alumni, linked to this university attracts many athletes to want to attend the school. Many athletes who attend the school and participate in athletics receive what they call “Nike Christmas” where they receive gear for their season. This brings in so many recruits from around the United States and around the world. After this event of athletes being hospitalized parents are beginning to question whether they should let their children attend the school or not.
For good reason, concerns have been brought up by parents about their children’s safety. Who would want to send their child off to college and worry if they will be hospitalized? I’m sure majority of parents would like to not have this stress in their lives. In Oregon’s defense, the football program and the athletic department has taken many steps in order to ensure that their athletes safety is their number one priority and this is something they will work to prevent in the future. Head coach Willie Taggart immediately offered his apologies, took full responsibility for the incident that occurred, and has been in constant contact with the families of these three athletes. To further prevent this, the strength and conditioning coach will have to report to the head coach as well as the school’s director of performance and sports science making sure that further workouts will deem fit.
In my opinion the University of Oregon is and will recover from this incident. Many athletes have stood behind their coaches and the athletic program feeling that their safety is not ignored. What happened to these three athletes was an accident, but none the less preventable. It could have been avoided with more attention that could have been given, but there have been steps taken to not let it happen again. I believe that this incident shocked the world, but more often than not this happens to so many collegiate athletes it just so happens that University of Oregon got the short end of the stick because of how well known their program is.