Tice agreed with UCFAA attorney Brian Rubenstein it would be fair to say he transferred to the University of Wisconsin because he didn't earn enough playing time during O'Leary's tenure. Tice is now a backup quarterback at Wisconsin.
During direct questioning by Plancher family attorney Steve Yerrid, Tice told the jury he spoke to Plancher between what he described as a grueling obstacle course and timed sprints.
"He didn't say words," Tice said of Plancher's response when he tried to speak with him. "He kind of just grunted, kind of groaned at me, `ugh,' like kind of just made a noise."
When he was asked what Plancher looked like, Tice responded, "I could tell he was, you know, very tired, and I -- you know, I've seen guys tired before and they kind of just don't talk, they don't want to talk. There's been times when I don't want to talk because I think I'm going to vomit all over the guy that's talking to me. And he was kind of just like -- he kind of was just going like oh, like that, like making noises, and I -- that was my first like kind of thought that like all right, maybe, you know -- maybe we should, you know, get him out of here."
Tice is the fourth former UCF football player present at Plancher's final workout on March 18, 2008, to testify athletic trainers did not respond as Plancher showed signs of unusual fatigue and muscle weakness.
He told the jury it was about 12 minutes between the time he first noticed Plancher was in distress and assistant football athletic trainer Robert Jackson began treating Plancher.
When he was asked during cross examination during UCFAA attorneys, Tice said he felt like he should have called athletic trainers to help Plancher following the obstacle course. He stated all the players who saw Plancher struggling should have called for help. Rubenstein asked Tice if it was fair to say his perspective had changed because Plancher died. Tice responded, "Yes, greatly so."
He testified the players never drank any water during the drills inside the practice facility. Tice stated athletic trainers were on the sideline away from the team and did not assist Plancher until he was being carried out of the practice facility by his teammates.
When Tice was asked whether O'Leary ever ordered athletic trainers or water be removed from the fieldhouse, he responded he did not recall. His testimony differed from former players Anthony Davis, Cody Minnich and Brian Watters, who said O'Leary ordered the athletic trainers and water be removed.
O'Leary has testified he never ordered water and athletic trainers be removed from the fieldhouse. He also stated he did not see Plancher show any signs of distress during the workout.
When Tice was asked during cross examination whether he ever asked for water, Tice responded he did not. Tice stated he never witnessed any players taking water from squirt bottles, but he couldn't testify with certainty none of the 82 players at the workout took any water during the obstacle course.Tice was asked if he was able to tell the jury how Plancher felt during the workout, what caused Plancher to fall or if whether he ever heard Plancher ask for an athletic trainer. Tice responded "no" to all three questions.
During direct questions from Plancher family attorneys, he described the workout as "punishment" after the players returned from a nine day spring break. The players did timed sprints the day before Plancher's final workout on March 18, 2008. Tice testified there was a sense of urgency after the players finished lifting weights and moved into the fieldhouse for conditioning drills.
"It was like, `Get in there, let's go, we're going right now,'" Tice said. "Like you have no time to go to the bathroom, you have no time to get water, just go."
He told the jury O'Leary has been a longtime family friend. O'Leary coached Nate Tice's father, Mike Tice, in high school. Nate Tice testified he has known O'Leary since about the least the seventh grade.
Tice described O'Leary as a tough coach who intimidated him.
"I knew his style," Tice stated. "I knew what kind of personality he was, but going in, I just -- I don't know, that kind of -- every -- every day kind of the thing that like I was always like in fear. That's the best way to put it. Not like -- it was just always -- I always thought I was going to do something wrong. I was scared to do anything wrong at any time. You know, during practice, if you threw one bad play, you know, you were just -- I was just freaking out.
"I was -- you know, I would -- during -- before lifts, I would throw before lifts. And it was you know, I -- I already did have a -- kind of a weak stomach, but it was just like -- it would be an early morning lift, and it was just because I was so scared of the lift. Like it was -- it was very -- I don't know, I've never really had that feeling before, like I never -- I always thought of football as a fun -- fun game, you know, that's what football is, it's a game, and going there kind of took a lot of the joy out of it.
Tice said O'Leary's approach was different than other coaches he met throughout his career.