ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -The University of Central Florida athletic department has hired an independent attorney well versed in NCAA matters to investigate ``procedures and policies'' surrounding its football program.
The hiring of Kansas City-based Michael Glazier, who once worked for the NCAA, comes in the wake of an internal investigation following the recent collapse and hospitalization of a player during an offseason conditioning workout Dec. 3.
Freshman Brandon Davis was released from Florida Hospital East Wednesday night with a clean bill of health. Nine months ago, UCF wide receiver Ereck Plancher collapsed and died during an offseason workout.
Plancher's family has informed UCF that it intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the University, claiming negligence by O'Leary and his staff.
In announcing the upcoming investigation, Hitt still provided a strong show of support for embattled coach George O'Leary, who has come under fire after the two incidents involving players. A losing season didn't help him, either, as support for the football program eroded.
rge is our coach today, and I expect him to be our coach next season,'' Hitt said. ``He has our support. This review, among other things will look at all our training programs. You should not draw any conclusions that we have a problem with NCAA rules. We do not.''
O'Leary, who was not present during Davis' workout, said Thursday that he is confident that procedures were followed properly in his absence. He also said he was grateful for the support of Hitt and athletic director Keith Tribble.
O'Leary has a 26-36 record in five seasons at UCF, including a 4-8 record this past season. He signed a 10-year contract extension in May 2006 that pays him $1 million annually. He also has a buyout clause that would cost UCF $5 million to change coaches unless there was just cause.
``I welcome this review,'' O'Leary said. ``Some of the rumors I've heard (about me) are hurtful, but I'm not ducking anything. We've done the same thing (offseason conditioning) all five years before we go to a bowl game, or head home for Christmas. I'm confident we're doing the right things.''
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