Back in 2005, the Missouri football team lost a freshman defensive end named Aaron O’Neal, who collapsed during a summer workout and died shortly thereafter. Only last month, nearly four years later, did the University of Missouri settle a lawsuit with O’Neal’s family, which awarded them $2 million.
But there’s plenty that’s fishy about the settlement, which is sort of to be expected when dealing with young men who die under athletic supervision. As the ASSOCIATED PRESS notes, the settlement is worded (and trust us, this is no accident) to absolve anyone involved of blame:
Missouri agreed in March to pay O’Neal’s parents, settling a 3 1/2-year-old suit before trial. The settlement includes language that attributes no fault to [head coach Gary] Pinkel, athletic director Mike Alden, sports medicine director Rex Sharp, strength and conditioning director Pat Ivey and 10 other current or past university employees.
That’s incredibly strange, when you consider the litany of decisions made by Missouri staff that likely directly led to O’Neal’s death. Read more…