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Old 03-18-2008, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Central Florida player dies during conditioning drills

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A Central Florida wide receiver died Tuesday after voluntary strength and conditioning drills, the day before spring practice was set to begin.

Police said there was no foul play or obvious cause for redshirt freshman Ereck Plancher's late morning collapse. UCF athletic director Keith Tribble said the players had been lifting weights, then ran for about 10 minutes.

After they huddled and broke, Plancher, of Naples, took a knee in obvious distress, Tribble said. UCF trainers on site immediately provided CPR and the player was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was pronounced dead just before noon.

"I know that I speak for our entire UCF family in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with Ereck's family on such a tragic day," Tribble said. "We offer our full support to Ereck's family, teammates, classmates and friends to cope with this unexpected loss."

Tribble said Plancher had passed a physical. The practice was inside an air-conditioned building, but the weather outside wasn't bad. The National Weather Service said it topped out at about 78 degrees in the area, with about 50 percent humidity.

UCF's spring practices weren't scheduled to start until Wednesday, but Tribble said 82 players were there for conditioning. He could not say who led the practice, but said there was no concern it was not compliant with NCAA rules.
Plancher, 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, was a two-time letterman at Lely High School in Naples. He majored in business and was a high school National Honor Society member.
"Medical staff did an incredible job, my team of officers did an incredible job trying to save this young man's life," UCF police chief Richard Beary said. "It's just a very sad day, very tragic."

In memory of my brother Michael, who gave me my love of sports. I will miss you!
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