New Evidence Surfaces In UCF Player’s Death

New Evidence Surfaces In UCF Player’s Death


New evidence surfaced Friday in the death of a UCF football player whose family is suing the school. Ereck Plancher died four years ago during an off-season workout.Friday, WFTV heard one of Plancher's former teammates describe what players went through. It was a videotaped deposition that WFTV viewed during Friday's hearing, but it gave a harrowing description of the off-season workout that ended with Plancher's death.

On what marks the fourth anniversary of Plancher's death, attorneys for his family laid out a case for punitive damages.

"We've learned in this country one thing, sometimes the best thing, when someone does something wrong, is to simply admit it and accept responsibility," said Plancher's attorney, Steven Yerrid.

Plancher died March 18, 2008 after an off-season workout supervised by UCF football coach George O'Leary.

Friday, the Plancher family attorneys played a videotaped deposition from one of Plancher's former teammates. Anthony Davis described a grueling conditioning session. He said it began with agility drills and then players moved onto an obstacle course.

"He said, 'I don't want any water, all the water I want is outside and I want the trainers to get away from the field,'" Davis said in the video recording.

That's when Davis said a timed obstacle challenge began. It only took a short time before Davis said Plancher began to struggle. At one point, Davis said, Plancher collapsed.

"Coach O'Leary was like, 'Get up! Get your a** up,'" Davis described.

"His testimony is completely contrary to everybody else inside that field," UCF attorney Dan Shapiro said.

Shapiro asked Judge Robert Evans for a chance to cross-examine the witness in the Plancher family's deposition. That request was granted.

Both sides will finish their arguments next Friday.

But if the judge decides this is more than a negligence case, it could open the door to millions in punitive damages.

Updated: An Orange County judge had decided attorneys for the family of a UCF football player, who died after an off-season practice, can sue for punitive damages.

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