- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ORLANDO, FLA. (AP) - Juror must decide whether University of Central Florida football player Ereck Plancher died during a workout because coaches pushed him too hard knowing he had a medical condition or whether it was from an unknown heart defect.

During opening arguments in a wrongful death trial Wednesday, attorneys representing his parents said the 19-year-old died three years ago from complications of sickle cell trait after an excessive workout where coach George O’Leary ordered water and trainers off the practice field.

They claim the university never told Plancher that he tested positive for the genetic problem. They also say coaches and trainers didn’t follow proper emergency procedures after Plancher stumbled, gasped for breath and collapsed.

An attorney for UCF said he would show that Plancher died from a congenital heart defect following a moderate practice.

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