UCF Hires Attorney Michael Glazier to Review Football Training Policies after Player Collapse

Jan 2, 2009

By Clark Palmer
The University of Central Florida recently hired attorney Michael S. Glazier to review athletic department training policies and adherence to them in the wake of another football player’s collapse during a workout.
Only nine months ago, freshman wide receiver Ereck Plancher collapsed during a conditioning drill and later died. And in early December, Brandon Davis collapsed during a workout and was hospitalized for several days.
Davis is expected to make a full recovery, according to UCF President John Hitt.
“Nothing is more important to me in this process than ensuring the continued well-being of our student-athletes,” Hitt said at a Dec. 11 press conference that addressed Glazier’s investigation and other issues surrounding Davis’ collapse.
“We’ve hired Mike because he is known for his integrity, his investigative acumen, and knowledge of college sports,” Hitt said. “I have complete confidence in him.”
Glazier has more than 20 years experience evaluating athletics programs, policies, procedures and practices.
“I feel I am uniquely qualified to fulfill the charge that has been given to me,” Glazier said at the press conference. He’s an attorney with Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC and co-founder of the Slive/Glazier Sports Group, which represents colleges and universities in NCAA-related matters.
Glazier will determine the review’s methodology, timeframe for completion, and conclusion. He will have full cooperation from the university and can make use of all university resources.
Besides reviewing UCF’s training policies, Glazier will also review other programs from peer institutions to determine best practices.
He will start the investigation by reviewing records and policies and interviewing players and staff members.
When Glazier finishes, he will deliver a written report with his findings and recommendations for improvements.
“Based on the findings, I will consider what is best for our university and football program,” Hitt said. He expects the review to strengthen the athletic program.
Hitt noted that he didn’t hire Glazier, who is well-known for his work at Slive/Glazier, because he thinks the university has NCAA problems. “We have hired him for the other skills that he can bring to bear,” Hitt said.
Hitt and Athletic Director Keith Tribble also tried to put to rest speculation about head football coach George O’Leary’s future at UCF.
“This review is not connected to media-driven speculation about Coach O’Leary’s future. George and Keith continue to have my full support and that of (UCF Board of Trustees) Chairman Rick Walsh,” Hitt said.
“I have not contacted any coach and will not contact any coach about this position because I have a football coach and that’s George O’Leary,” Tribble said.
O’Leary admitted that he was hurt by allegations about his culpability in what happened to Davis. “But one thing I will never do is run from something. I do want to find out the truth and what did happen,” he said.
Tribble reviewed the initial findings from the university’s ongoing internal investigation at the press conference. (At the time of the press conference, the university had interviewed about 40 student-athletes and staff members who were at Davis’ workout, excluding Davis himself.)
Here are the university’s initial findings:
• The workout took an hour and a half. (The team has been using the same workout program in December for the past five years, according to O’Leary.)
• Trainers and staff members were present, but O’Leary wasn’t.
• There were scheduled water breaks.
• Assistant Athletic Trainer Hans Whitley noticed that Davis was struggling to complete repetitions at his second station so he stopped Davis’ workout and questioned him.
• Davis complained of fatigue and told Whitley he had only eaten a pop tart prior to the workout and that he had been up late that night preparing for exams. Whitley told Davis to drink some water.
• After approximately five minutes of rest and observation, Davis stated that he felt better and returned to his group to complete the workout.
• During the fourth exercise station, Davis’ performance difficulties became more pronounced and coaches requested that he leave the workout, get something to eat, and finish the workout later. Davis told the coaches he was OK and wanted to finish. He completed the assigned tasks at the station.
• Davis collapsed at the fifth exercise station, where some of his teammates helped him lift weights.
• Whitley and Assistant Athletic trainer Judd Fann responded immediately. Fann determined that he should call 911 for emergency assistance.
• UCF police responded first. When they arrived Davis was sitting upright with Whitley’s assistance and drinking water and a sports recovery drink. The ambulance arrived a few minutes later.
• Shortly after that, Davis was transported to Florida East Hospital.
During Davis’ hospital stay, his mother stated that he was suffering from acute kidney failure while UCF officials claimed he was suffering from dehydration, reports ESPN.com news services.


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