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Oregon strength coach suspended after football players hospitalized

The University of Oregon suspended one of its strength and conditioning coaches Tuesday, days after three football players were hospitalized following offseason conditioning programs.

Irele Oderinde was suspended one month without pay and, according to ESPN, the university also has revised its system of reporting. The strength and conditioning coach now answers to the director of performance and sports science instead of head football coach Willie Taggart.

Oderinde was announced as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach just one week ago.

From ESPN.com:

As of Tuesday evening, Ducks tight end Cam McCormick and offensive lineman Sam Poutasi were still patients at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Oregon, the hospital confirmed to ESPN. Offensive lineman Doug Brenner, who also had been admitted, was no longer listed as an in-house patient.

On Monday, The Oregonian reported that Poutasi’s mother said her son had been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which skeletal muscle tissue is rapidly broken down and products of that process are released into the bloodstream.

Depending on the severity, it can be harmful to the kidneys and might lead to kidney failure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The Oregonian cited sources who described team workouts as “military basic training,” though some players have objected to that comparison. In a news release, Taggart said he apologized to the families of the three players. 

“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,” he said. “I have addressed the issue with our strength and conditioning staff, and I fully support the actions taken today by the university. 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.”

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