Negligence in sports


Negligencein sports

occurs when the staff, unions, and associationsfail to provide assistance and protection players to their players.Fellow teammates or opponents are also liable for the wellbeing ofother players. Violating the rights of sportspersons is punishable incourt if the complainant was owed a duty of care and the breach ledto the damages incurred by the player (Hinson C. 2013). This paperfocuses on the legal issue of negligence by using a practical courtcase.

On Wednesday, May 2015, Florida Supreme Court ruled in an initialcase pitting Ereck Plancher’s family and University of CentralFlorida (UCF). In 2011, UCF was found guilty of negligence after thedeath of Ereck Plancher, 18. He died in the school’s trainingground in March 2008, during the team’s preseason workout (HinsonC. 2013). Damages worth $10 million were awarded to Plancher’sfamily. It was however reduced to $200,000 in the latest ruling.

Thiscase met the first element of negligence, duty to care. The AthleticAssociation of UCF owes all its players care Plancher was noexception. Secondly, the duty of care was breached. According to thewitnesses who were Plancher’s teammates, they were subjected tointensive conditioning drills as a punishment for being out of shapeafter a holiday. Further, water and skilled trainers were notavailable, while Plancher was having breathing complications becauseof sickle cell anemia. Thirdly, the demise was due to the failure bythe coach to consider the condition of the player.

In the defense, I would challenge the evidence that the demise wascaused by failure to care for the player. Plancher was living withsick cell trait. This was according to Joshua Stephany, the OrangeCounty medical examiner who was hired by the family. The conditionsubjected the player to lack of enough oxygen transported due to theshape of the red blood cells. Additionally, training, in this case,cannot be taken as a punishment since it is provided for in theAthletics Association.

Iagree with the ruling under to the precondition of filing anegligence case in sports. UCF and its Athletic Association knew thecondition of Plancher. Subjecting him to strenuous drill intensifiedPlancher’s need for oxygen, hence the complications that lead tohis death. Duty to care was breached as the institution failed to doall that was possible to save the player’s life.


Sportsnegligence paints a picture of unprofessionalism on the side of theorganizations and players that commit the offense. All thestakeholders should ensure that the spirit of the game is honored.Justifiable legal mechanisms that are in place to solve the disputesin sportsmanship must be supported.


Hinson, C. (2013). Assessing the Scope of State University SovereignImmunity: A Commentary on the Vexing Dispute over UCF AthleticsAssociation, Inc.&nbspMarq. Sports L. Rev.,&nbsp24,419.