|By KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press|
On Wednesday, the
The court issued an order accepting jurisdiction in the case, but will not be hearing oral arguments. It instead is choosing review the case record and legal briefs from attorneys.
The court ruled UCF's power of control over its athletics association — UCFAA — was sufficient for sovereign immunity afforded to state agencies in civil judgments. The
"Whether the advocacy is written or oral, this family has a just cause,"
A ruling against the UCF athletics association in this case could make it and other state athletic DSOs vulnerable to uncapped judgments in future legal cases.
"We believe the opinion from the
Plancher collapsed and died following conditioning drills at the school's football complex in
The player's family filed suit against UCF in
A jury found the UCF athletics association was negligent and awarded Plancher's parents, Enock and Gisele Plancher,
During the civil trial Plancher's attorneys presented evidence from four former UCF football players, including a former team captain, who all recalled a strenuous workout than UCF coaches and school officials originally said took place. The players also testified that Plancher was struggling throughout, gasping for breath at times.
They also alleged that no water or trainers were present during what one of the players said was a "punishment" workout for players coming back from spring vacation out of shape. They said coach
UCF officials contended the school did everything necessary to save Plancher's life. During their case they had players who were at the workout testify that water was available to players and argued that Plancher knew he had sickle cell trait and that it was actually a heart ailment that caused his death.