Posted February 07, 2014

Cal football player Ted Agu dies after collapsing during conditioning drill

Cal Bears

A Cal football player died after collapsing during a conditioning drill on Friday. Ted Agu, 21, was a defensive end from Bakersfield, Calif.

The school released an official statement on Friday afternoon:

At this time, we are deeply saddened to inform you that Ted Agu, one of our student-athletes and a member of our football team, passed away tragically this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ted’s family and friends, our players and coaches, and our University family. Our student-athletes are our priority and we are providing counseling services for our players. Please bear with us as we work to inform personally those closest to Ted; we will provide more information as it becomes available.

“This is a very difficult time for our football family,” said Sonny Dykes, Head Football Coach. “Ted was a remarkable young man and a member of this family who was highly respected and loved by his teammates and coaching staff. He had an incredible passion for life and will be deeply missed.”

Athletics Director, Sandy Barbour, said, “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ted’s family. This is a very painful time for the entire Cal family; in the days and weeks ahead, my focus will be on providing every member of our community the support and information they need to get through this time. I would ask that media please respect and understand how this tragedy is impacting Ted’s family, his teammates, friends and the members of our campus community. We will get through this together.”

Agu played in seven games during the 2013 season. Before arriving at Cal, he attended Frontier (Calif.) High, where he earned All-Southwest Yosemite League honors.

20 comments
RandySandberg
RandySandberg

What actually are these "conditioning" drills?  Are they running these boys to death?  This guy was 240 lbs.  He wasn't a cross country runner.  I would like to know exactly what they were doing and how many times were they doing it.

WarrenSappSucked
WarrenSappSucked

who cares? at least he wont take his attendance in so called collegiate classes. next.

patrickkington
patrickkington

@slmandel physicals likely won't detect hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is usually the culprit in sudden death of athletes.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

A few years ago a player for the UCF football team died after conditioning drills. His death was attributed to Sickle Cell Anemia. I wonder if Ted Agu had the same problem.

brianros1
brianros1

@slmandel when is it time to start putting relentless pressure on universities to do better physicals on student athletes?

Jaye_White
Jaye_White

@slmandel with all the money that ncaaf generates couldn't all student athletes go thru combine level physicals?

quitethewiseass
quitethewiseass

@RandySandberg  You are spot on!  Lots of holes in this story, and investigations need to happen quickly.  Why wasn't an ambulance called immediately? Interview the players there! The coaching staff is extremely suspicious here.  This whole "Sickle Cell" trait thing is bogus.  

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@WarrenSappSucked  You're a waste of oxygen and life is laughing at you. Another tragic thing about this situation is that you are still alive. 

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

@WarrenSappSucked  UM, maybe his parents feel sad their son has died? doesn't matter if he was good, bad, smart, dumb, black or white, he still had parents. But reference the last sentence about WORK ETHIC and see maybe this kid was trying to better himself.

clt0002
clt0002

@HarshRealities  There was just a report that he has the same traits that resembles Sickle Cell in his medical reports and Cal physicians knew about it. It's certainly too early to tell but that's an interesting development. 

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@brianros1 Humans die.  Sometimes they even die after having thorough physicals.  It's sad when it is a young person, but it it part of life

clt0002
clt0002

@Jaye_White @slmandel  I doubt it. Athletes already go through a pretty intense recruiting process where coaches get them to pledge 4 years to their university over others. It's unfair to get someone to give up a scholarship offer from another school to go there and then have a coach say "well you have to pass a physical first." Coaches should do their due diligence beforehand and have better training programs in collaboration with physicians. 

WadeWilson
WadeWilson

@clt0002 @slmandel  well then it should be an NCAA rule that you must do a thorough physical/medical exam on the player before recruiting him.

BobBell
BobBell

@WadeWilson @clt0002 @slmandel  This is very sad.  No physical exam can detect every possible life threatening condition (read the forms you sign when you have a cardiac stress test).  It's not a requirement, but often in the rare cases where a medical condition preventing further participation is detected the school will keep the student on scholarship (at this point it doesn't count against their NCAA limits).  I wouldn't mind seeing this become a requirement - it's rare so the cost of insuring for it should be fairly small.