Oregon's Taggart takes blame for hospitalized players, strength coach suspended
A day after it was announced that three Oregon football players had been hospitalized following a series of strength and conditioning workouts, head coach Willie Taggart is absorbing responsibility.
Offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi along with tight end Cam McCormick were admitted to hospital following team workouts that were said to be gruelling in nature, and remained in fair condition.
Oregon released a statement in which Taggart put the blame for the situation squarely on his own shoulders.
"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. "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."
In the statement, it was also announced that strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde has been suspended without pay for one month.
"I have addressed the issue with our strength and conditioning staff, and I fully support the actions taken today by the university," Taggart added. "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."
Following his suspension, another condition of Oderinde's punishment is that he will no longer report directly to Taggart, but rather to Andrew Murray, the director of performance and sports science at the university.
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