- Associated Press - Friday, July 1, 2011

ORLANDO, FLA. (AP) - A jury has found that the University of Central Florida’s Athletic Association was negligent in a football player’s 2008 death and awarded his parents $10 million.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the decision came after about five hours of deliberation Thursday night in the wrongful death trial of Ereck Plancher.

Plancher collapsed and died following conditioning drills at the school’s football complex in March 2008. Orange County medical examiner Joshua Stephany and three experts hired by Plancher family attorneys testified he died from complications of sickle cell trait.

Plancher family attorney Steve Yerrid says they’ve sent the message that the welfare of student athletes is at the top of any football program.

University spokesman Grant Heston says the program mourns Plancher’s death but the athletic association will appeal the verdict.

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