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Oregon suspends football strength coach for 1 month after 3 players were hospitalized

The situation at Oregon continues to unfold.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of three players being hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, Oregon has suspended strength coach Irele Oderinde, according to KEZI. He has also been demoted.

In a statement, head coach Willie Taggart says he’s visited with the players, whom The Oregonian reported as offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi, as well as tight end Cam McCormick. Oderinde will be replaced by Jim Radcliffe, who announced just last week that he would retire after over 30 years as strength coach in Eugene.

The workouts that forced the players to be hospitalized were described as “grueling.”

After the workouts at Oregon, Poutasi’s mother told The Oregonian he’d “complained of very sore arms” and received a diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis. That’s a dangerous syndrome that stems from muscular injury, in which muscle fibers die and their contents enter the bloodstream. It can lead to kidney failure.

It also cannot be ignored that these workouts come at the beginning of a new regime in Eugene under Taggart, and in the direct wake of a report last week that the end of former coach Mark Helfrich’s tenure featured players cutting corners in the weight room.

In the weight room during the offseason, a large number of players, and rarely the same ones, balked at completing UO's weightlifting workouts. One current Duck -- who like all players interviewed requested anonymity in exchange for their candor -- recalled teammates who finished workouts to the letter, but with much lighter weights. Another said it was common for some to mark down that they had completed all the repetitions -- even though they had not done so.

At the height of summer, players left the weight room barely sweating.