Attorneys for the family of Ted Agu have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California. A press conference will be held on Tuesday in Oakland at the Alameda County Courthouse to officially announce the suit.
In the coroner’s report, Agu’s cause of death was officially determined as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the leading cause of cardiac death among athletes. Agu’s family lawyers are contesting that coaches and trainers in Cal football did not recognize the problem the moment it happened and only acted after some time had passed before action was taken by any of the staff.
The release does suggest that Agu might have had sickle cell trait and that trainers and coaches were not quick enough to recognize his symptoms when they manifested. HHere is a PDF about the sickle cell trait for those who might want to know more.
Here is the official press release, courtesy of Jeff Faraudo and the San Jose Mercury News.
"During the course of the conditioning drill, Agu experienced dizziness, shortness of breath, loss of balance, and other signs of extreme fatigue that were clearly symptomatic of the sickling process," the release said. "Despite the symptoms which clearly could and should have been observed, UCB coaches and trainers failed to immediately come to Agu's assistance.
"It was only after Agu struggled and encountered obvious difficulties for a significant period of time that intervention occurred and he was placed on a cart and taken back towards the stadium where he collapsed for the last time."
Here is a press release from Cal Athletics.
Statement from Cal Athletics regarding pending announcement of wrongful death lawsuit from family of Ted Agu. pic.twitter.com/vLP3OiFw0H— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) August 4, 2014
Below are the details of Agu's death.
The coroner found that there was no trauma, foul play, alcohol or drugs involved in Agu’s death. The report stated that it was unknown whether he used performance enhancing drugs, although his family and teammates were not aware of any such use.
Agu’s roommate and Cal quarterback Austin Hinder told police that Agu appeared “extra tired” earlier in the week after completing practices and became winded when running. He also said Agu couldn’t stop sneezing three days prior to his death. The family told the coroner that Agu’s only known medical problems were allergies, but he was otherwise healthy.
The morning of his death, Agu was running with the team and leading the group until the final lap when he became noticeably tired, according to a report from UCPD Officer Harry Bennigson, the detective assigned to the case.
Agu eventually stopped running and took a knee to catch his breath. After he lost consciousness, his teammates initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and Agu was transported by cart back to Memorial Stadium where a medical facility is located. Before reaching the stadium, paramedics arrived and took him to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, according to the coroner’s report. At 7:52 a.m., the 21-year-old was pronounced dead.