flsportsfan83 Posted April 15, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 16,045 Reputation: 748 Days Won: 12 Joined: 08/16/2004 Share Posted April 15, 2008 Roommate left the UCF football team after Ereck Plancher's deathCliff McCray, a projected starter, left the team after a meeting with Coach George O'Leary.Iliana Lim�n | Sentinel Staff Writer April 15, 2008 Article toolsE-mail Share Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Reprints Post comment Text size: Ereck Plancher's roommate left the UCF football team days after the redshirt freshman wide receiver collapsed during an offseason workout and died March 18.Cliff McCray, who was projected to be a starting offensive lineman and a senior on the 2008 team, planned to meet with UCF Coach George O'Leary March 21 after Plancher's death. McCray opted to skip the meeting and talk with his family in Miami. McCray met with O'Leary March 24 and quit the team."Cliff had decided he basically wanted to go in another direction," O'Leary said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel April 1. "That was pretty much it. I shook his hand. I said, 'Good luck,' and basically said, 'Let me know if I can help with anything.' That was the way it was left."UCF spokesman Grant Heston on Monday said McCray will remain on scholarship through the spring semester.VideoRelated linksFormer UCF football player Ereck Plancher passed 2 physicals Friends remember Ereck Plancher Video Press Conference: UCF football player Ereck Plancher Video O'Leary's first comments since Plancher's death Video UCF football player Ereck Plancher Photos 911 call after UCF football player Ereck Plancher collapsed: "We have a kid in sheer exhaustion" Audio Leave a message remembering Ereck Plancher Stories and multimedia on UCF receiver Ereck Plancher's death A preliminary autopsy performed on Plancher was inconclusive. Further tests are under way to determine the cause of Plancher's death.Four UCF football players told the Sentinel that Plancher showed signs of distress during the workout before he collapsed and died. The players said the workout was far more intense than the university initially indicated and said coaches cursed at Plancher for lack of effort while he struggled through mat drills. They were granted anonymity because they said they feared retribution from the coaches.O'Leary denied the four players' accounts. He said he asked players to talk with coaches if they wanted to speak about what happened the day Plancher died. He said McCray is the only player who came forward and met with coaches.McCray could not be reached for comment.McCray's mother, Deborah, declined to answer questions from the Sentinel about her son's departure from the team and added, "I think Cliff has done all the talking he needs to do. He needs to focus on his studies."Stu Rogers, McCray's former coach at Miami Southridge, said he was surprised to learn McCray quit the UCF football team because of the considerable obstacles McCray had overcome during his football career.McCray was being heavily recruited by numerous schools, including Rutgers, Auburn, Akron, Florida International and Temple after his junior season, but he was forced to quit football when doctors discovered he had a heart condition."I was really hurting for him because the kid loved to play," Rogers said. "I got a phone call saying he couldn't play his senior year because of that heart problem he had. He was destroyed. The kid was looking forward to playing football in college."Rogers said McCray was a strong student who enrolled at UCF because he liked the school's engineering program."Coming from such a great family, I knew he would persevere," Rogers said. "He's just a great kid You couldn't ask for a better kid to coach."McCray was encouraged by former Knights running back Kevin Smith, who was his teammate at Southridge, to walk on to the UCF football team.McCray was evaluated and got medical clearance to join the UCF team in 2007. He appeared in 12 games last season, starting the final five games of the regular season, the Conference USA championship game and the Liberty Bowl at left guard."I was just so happy for him because I knew how much he missed football and how hard he worked to get back into the sport," Rogers said.McCray moved to right guard just before spring practice. He was replaced in the spring by senior Cody Minnich.O'Leary and numerous UCF officials said the decision to leave the team was McCray's and that he was not asked to leave the program because of his medical history. They said they did not check school records for athletes with potential medical problems after Plancher died."We do a very thorough medical physical of every athlete who arrives at UCF," UCF trainer Mary Vander Heiden said. "We talk with each one individually about their medical history. We knew about Cliff when he arrived. We didn't go back through the files after this [Plancher] incident." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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