- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2011

ORLANDO, FLA. (AP) - A judge has refused University of Central Florida’s athletic association’s request to overturn a $10 million verdict awarded to the parents of a football player who died during a preseason practice.

Circuit Judge Robert Evans’ denial Tuesday comes more than a month after a jury found that the association was negligent in 19-year-old Ereck Plancher’s 2008 death.

The Orlando judge also determined that Plancher’s parents are eligible to have their legal fees paid for by the association.

The family lawyer contended coaches pushed Plancher too much despite knowing about a sickle cell trait that they never told him about. A medical examiner determined his death was caused by the trait.

It causes blood cells to become misshapen and disrupt the body’s vascular system when under extreme stress.

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