Expert testifies UCF player died from sickle cell

June 16, 2011 - 6:44 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A cardiologist and expert in sudden deaths in young athletes testified that University of Central Florida football player Ereck Plancher died from complications of sickle cell trait and could not have died from a heart problem.

Dr. Barry J. Maron said during the wrongful death trial Thursday that there is no evidence that a cardiac problem killed the 19-year-old after a preseason workout.

Attorneys for the UCF Athletics Association are arguing that the undetected heart problem caused Plancher's death on March 18, 2008. Attorneys for Plancher's parents say the athletics association is responsible for his death.

They are trying to prove that coaches pushed him excessively at the practice despite knowing about his health problems that they never told him about.