UCF football player Ereck Plancher, a 19-year-old freshman receiver from Naples, collapsed after an offseason workout supervised by Knights Coach George O'Leary and his staff on March 18. He was transported to a nearby hospital and died about an hour later. The following summary of Plancher's final workout was compiled from interviews with multiple UCF officials, public documents and the accounts of four UCF football players who spoke to the Sentinel on condition of anonymity because they said they feared retribution from UCF coaches.
What was the workout?
According to a timeline of the day provided to the Sentinel by O'Leary, the workout at the Knights' practice facility consisted of 75 minutes of weightlifting; 10 minutes of stretching; an agility course, or mat drills, lasting "exactly 10 minutes, 26 seconds"; two 18-second sprints, a team huddle and some calisthenics that O'Leary said began at about 10:31 a.m. and concluded at about 10:45 a.m.
Athletic Director Keith Tribble initially called the workout "non-taxing" and said the entire session lasted 10 minutes and 26 seconds. A week later, Tribble corrected himself. He and UCF President John Hitt blamed the incorrect information on a rush to provide information to the media quickly after Plancher's death. Hitt said it did not appear any members of the UCF staff tried to withhold key information from Tribble.
When did Plancher collapse?
O'Leary told the Sentinel he saw Plancher get up after falling during the final sprints. In multiple, independent interviews with the newspaper, the four UCF players said the workout was intense; that Plancher was woozy and staggering during the final portion of the drills; and that he was cursed at and singled out by O'Leary for lack of effort.
O'Leary has denied those claims. Plancher fell to one knee as the team broke its final huddle, according to the coach. O'Leary said he did not see Plancher collapse but turned to see trainer Robert Jackson talking to the fallen player. "I asked him if he had eaten breakfast," O'Leary said.
By then, the UCF players said, Plancher was not responding as trainers and David Kelly, UCF's receivers coach, attempted to give him water. Players said they carried Plancher outside and laid him on a bench outside the indoor practice facility.
What happened next?
According to the UCF Police Department's incident report, a 911 call was made at 10:48 a.m. On call, a school official says rescue breathing and CPR were being administered.
At about 10:49, officer Alan Elliot was dispatched along with Sgt. Woody Furnas and officer Amber Silvia. According to the report, Furnas arrived at 10:52 a.m., Elliot seconds later. They found Plancher unconscious on the bench. An automatic external defibrillator was already attached to Plancher.
A UCF trainer performed compressions while Furnas administered rescue breaths. After four cycles of compressions, the AED advised for no shocks and to continue compressions. Furnas and Silvia perform five cycles of compressions and rescue breaths before fire and rescue took over performing CPR. The report does not mention the use of any AED shock. Plancher was placed in an ambulance at 11:06 a.m.
He was pronounced dead at 11:51 a.m.
see related stories on pages A1, D1 and D5.
UCF player Ereck Plancher's death: The aftermath