The attorney for Ereck Plancher had strong words for the University of Central Florida when he found out a statue of George O’Leary was being built on campus, according to CBS Sports.
“[UCF] can go to hell,” said Steve Yarrid, according to CBS Sports.
“They’re going to erect a statue for George O’Leary?” said Yarrid, according to CBS Sports. “It makes me, if not physically nauseous, but emotionally nauseous.”
Plancher died at UCF during a football practice when the football team was under direction of George O’Leary. The UCF athletic association was found negligent after the death of Plancher.
The practice was over the offseason. Plancher had a sickle cell trait that contributed to him collapsing and dying in 2008.
The case went to trial in 2011 where the Plancher’s family was awarded $10 million dollars. UCF appealed however and the award was decreased down to just $200,000 dollars, because it was determined that the UCF athletic association fell under sovereign immunity guidelines, according to CBS Sports.
Yarrid told CBS Sports that UCF has yet to pay Plancher’s family a dime to date.
“The insurance company is prepared to pay the $200,000, but is waiting a final judgment from the court based on issues raised by the plaintiff’s attorneys,” said UCF Spokesman Grant Heston, according to CBS Sports.
“They ought to erect a statue to Ereck Plancher,” Yerrid told CBS Sports. “Instead they’re erecting a statue to the coach who watched it? Pitiful.”
According to CBS Sports, no one could deny that O’Leary had the whistle that could have stopped the practice when Plancher started to struggle. At least four UCF football players at the time testified that team trainers didn’t respond when Plancher started showing signs of suffering.
One football player said that the drill in which Plancher collapsed in was meant as punishment, according to CBS Sports.
“Let me tell George O’Leary something through you. When a 19-year-old wonderful black man loses his life, nobody wins. [O’Leary] is nothing more than a fool. Put one [statue] of Erick Plancher up. That’s what a man does,” Yarrid told CBS Sports.
The statue is being funded by private donors.
UCF told CBS Sports, “George helped our student-athletes reach new heights in the classroom and on the field. It’s appropriate to recognize those achievements at some point in the future.”
This wouldn’t be the first time UCF is recognizing a coach accused of wrong doing. UCF named the baseball field after a coach who was accused of sexual harassment by a male equipment manager, according to CBS Sports. That coach denied the charges.