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Florida State coach Willie Taggart is getting sued. Here’s what the lawsuit alleges.

A behind the scenes look at Willie Taggart’s first day as Florida State’s football coach

Go behind the scenes with Seminoles.com as they take a look at Willie Taggart's first day as Florida State's head football coach.
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Go behind the scenes with Seminoles.com as they take a look at Willie Taggart's first day as Florida State's head football coach.

Florida State football coach Willie Taggart is getting sued.

Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner is suing Taggart, who coached at Oregon for one season before joining FSU, as part of a lawsuit against the University of Oregon and the NCAA for negligence in offseason workouts that resulted in hospitalization for rhabdomyolsis and other injuries in January 2017, The Oregonian reported Wednesday.

FSU strength coach Irele Oderinde, who was the strength coach at Oregon, was also named in Brenner’s suit, where he is seeking $11.5 million in damages, according to the news outlet.

Rhabdomylosis, a syndrome where muscles break down with leakage into the blood stream, can lead to severe kidney issues, and Brenner alleges some of his injuries sustained are permanent, according to The Oregonian.

The January 2017 incident involved three Oregon football players. Neither of Brenner’s two teammates from that time are in the 18-page lawsuit filed at Oregon’s Multnomah County circuit court on Wednesday, the outlet reported.

According to The Oregonian, Oderinde, who followed Taggart to Oregon from USF, was suspended for one month without pay after the incident. Taggart publicly apologized for the incident.

Both the NCAA and FSU did not immediately return messages seeking comment to The Oregonian.

“Taggart and Oderinde knew of the type of severe consequences that could result from the exercise drill and knowingly conducted the exercise drill with conscious disregard to the detrimental health consequences for the students,” the suit claims, according to The Oregonian. “... Alternatively, if defendant Oderinde was not aware of the consequences of the exercise drills, he was wholly incompetent to have been hired to perform a job as a strength and conditioning coach for a college football team.”

Brenner’s lawyer told The Oregonian the workouts were “punishing, abusive workouts.”

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.

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