Jun 13, 2022
Oregon Athletics to Present Proposal to Raise College Strength Coach Certification Requirements

The University of Oregon athletics department is considering bringing a proposal to the Pac-12 and eventually the NCAA to raise the bar of accreditation requirements for strength and conditioning coaches at the collegiate level.

The proposal would also implement an acclimatization period for winter football workouts.

oregonAccording to a recent article from OregonLive.com, former Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner is leading the charge to raise the level of expectations of strength and conditioning at the collegiate level.

Below is an excerpt from that article.

The potential move comes in the wake of the civil trial earlier this spring in which Brenner sued UO, former football coach Willie Taggart and former strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde, and the NCAA for negligence due to his hospitalization and injuries related to exertional rhabdomyolysis following strenuous workouts in January 2017.

Brenner settled with UO for $500,000 prior to closing arguments on the 17th day of trial in Lane County Circuit Court and dismissed his claims against Taggart and Oderinde. A jury found the NCAA was negligent but that its negligence did not cause damages to Brenner, who was one of three UO players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis as a result of the workouts.

Former Oregon offensive lineman Sam Poutasi settled for $300,000 prior to going to trial and tight end Cam McCormick, who is still at UO, elected not to pursue a claim.

Among the points Brenner’s lawyers argued during the trial was that the NCAA’s current bylaw requiring strength and conditioning coaches to be certified by a “nationally accredited” organization was too broad and that the governing body of college sports has been aware for over 10 years about the higher likelihood of football injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis, occurring during select periods of the year, specifically winter workouts.

Oderinde was certified by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), which has far less stringent requirements than either the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa).

Oregon’s proposal would require college strength and conditioning coaches to be certified by one of the two leading organizations in the industry and implement an acclimatization period to winter workouts.

“We have put our heart, soul, and treasure into the effort to protect players,” Greg Kafoury, one of Brenner’s attorneys from Kafoury & McDougal and Eiva Law, said in a statement. “Taggart was an aberration in the honorable history of Duck football. There could be no more appropriate response to the damage wrought by Taggart than for the U of O to join the effort to reform the NCAA.”

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said the conference “is discussing that proposal and we haven’t decided our position on that yet.”

To read the full article from OregonLive.com about the Oregon Athletics proposal, click here. 

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