Editors Note: Since our story - Rant - ran last night we had 11,450 reads and a a ton of love and hate mail. But tonight the Strength training coach at Oregon has been laid off without pay for a month and Willie Taggart and the administration at Oregon have all backpedaled and apologized. This was appreciated and appropriate and the only course of action they could take.
Original story - 1-16-17= 6 PM
Time to rant tonight. For those of you reading this getting ready to sign your Letters Of Intent or those a year or so out you all need to pay attention. The people hired to Coach you reveal themselves through their actions and through the people they choose to bring in to help them do that job.
Who you choose to give your futures to is your business. But please guys leave the shoes and the glitz and glamour and pretty girls and all that at the door. It means nothing. This is your life, your safety, your education and for some of you your shot at the League that your playing with and it is no game!
Case in point is the Oregon Ducks. They bring in Willie Taggart and he has hit the ground running and is building an impressive staff. He has come into Eugene tweeting and talking a good game but he seems to have been given marching orders to toughen up the Ducks and sort out the weaklings laying down a new tougher era in Eugene. Someone at the top must have told him the brand is suffering and that he needs to break the boys down and bring in some new blood. A good old house cleaning!
Making the move with him from Florida came his strength trainer; a guy named Irele Oderinde. This Coach decided it was time to push the current players so he used some old school ass kicking drills for several days in a row with little consideration for sports science. He ended up overseeing the break down of several Duck athletes causing them to suffer from Rhabdomyolysis.
Several players were hospitalized this past weekend for fear of kidney failure caused by rhabdomyolysis, a syndrome in which soft muscle tissue is broken down with "leakage into the blood stream of muscle contents," according to the NCAA medical handbook. This is a very rare thing and is caused by over-exertion of the body and in particular specific muscle groups.
Read this great story by Andrew Grief about what happened but let me just say that this is some bull sh#+ right here. Maybe that crap works in Florida but is won't work here; mainly because we actually care about our athletes here. Remember that this is one of the leading states for sports science. Everyone in Eugene knows better than this and yet Taggart sat by and allowed Oderinde to execute this scheme.
Coach Taggart is known for being a turn around guy. Good for him. Maybe we are starting to see why. I have news for you all - we have great players at Oregon and while this past couple of years have been lack luster sending them to the hospital and then saying your sorry is disingenuous. The Ducks need a motivator and a leader not the Khmer Rouge who killed their own in an effort to win.
While Taggart is tweeting from San Diego, LA, and heading to Florida to go "Duck Hunting" his current players are in the hospital by his own hand. That's BS Coach. Fact is your now a part of the problem and not acting like a part of the solution. When your flanked by legendary Coaches like Chris Petersen, David Shaw, Jim Mora, and Kyle Whittingham you have to do better. How is it that these men win and succeed without these sort of tactics? Maybe they motivate their guys? Because getting players in shape in this day and age is not an issue and if you're going to convince me that the brand of football in Eugene is weak your going to hit a stone wall.
Recruits is this a guy you want to play for?
Is this a strength trainer you want to have in charge of your health? This is not just one of those things - this is a known outcome that happens when barbaric training stunts like this past week are pulled. Willie Taggart wants you to come play for him and so do a lot of other great programs. If deeds speak louder than words your choices must be carefully weighed here.
What next Coach? We are all watching. Happy Hunting.