25 Apr 2022 | 08:19
SANTA MONICA – A former UCLA soccer player who sued UC Regents and the NCAA over injuries he says he sustained while playing for the Bruins has been hit by assistant coach Adrian Klemm, the team’s former offensive coordinator. Bruin, Norm Chow, said in a sworn statement.
John Lopez played attacking football for the Bruins from 2013-16. On Wednesday, Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Mark Epstein is expected to hear a recommendation from NCAA attorneys to dismiss the organization as a defendant in the case. Lopez says he suffered at least three concussions while at UCLA, two of which occurred during practice and the third occurred off the field, when he suddenly lost consciousness in his student apartment mine.
Chow, 75, was not on the UCLA coaching staff at the time, but issued a statement in support of Lopez opposing the dismissal proposal. Chow said that before writing his statement, he reviewed the transcripts of Lopez, former UCLA head coach Jim Mora — appointed to the same position at the University of Connecticut in November — athletic coach. Anthony Venute and former Bruin coach Zachary Bateman. He said he also reviewed the statements of three other former UCLA players: Poasi Moala, Ben Wysocki and Greg Capella.
“I have concluded with a reasonable degree of probability and reasonable certainty that Mr Lopez was handled by (then UCLA offensive team coach) Klemm which increased the risk of injury to him and his conduct. Coach Klemm’s actions were below the standard of care. a coach owes a student-athlete,” says Chow.
Klemm “humiliated and mocked many players and, in particular, repeatedly insulted and belittled Mr. Lopez,” according to Chow, who also said he believed Lopez to be Klemm’s target and ordered a repeat of the drills. to punish the plaintiff.
“It is appropriate for a coach to repeat exercises when a player is performing them incorrectly, but when Coach Klemm takes Mr. Lopez out of line and forces him to perform repetitive and excessive exercises to keep things simple is to punish him, it’s no longer educational. Chow said.
Klemm directed other players to “constantly and rapidly” hit Lopez, leaving him with multiple exposures from helmet to helmet, sometimes with blocking bags and other times during running drills. at full speed with full contact, according to Chow.
Klemm also “verbally abused players when they showed signs of injury or told the coach they were injured,” according to Chow.
Attempts to contact Klemm’s attorney to respond to the allegations were not immediately successful.
Klemm, an attacking ball, was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft, the same draft the team picked Tom Brady in the sixth round. Klemm, 44, is currently an associate head coach at the University of Oregon.
Lopez, Moala and Bateman all filed similar lawsuits in May 2019. Moala played offensive tackle, finisher, full-back and defender for the Bruins from 2013-16 and reached an agreement. about his lawsuit on Friday. Bateman played offensive football for UCLA in 2015-17 and his case is still pending.
In his own oath, the 27-year-old Lopez said that the pressure to play through injury was passed on to the UCLA players by coaches and that he was still not fully recovered from his playing time.
“Due to my mental and physical disabilities due to the injuries I sustained while playing for UCLA, I was unable to return to school to earn my college degree and I was unable to work part-time even though I was in school. when leaving school. ,” said Lopez.
A representative for UCLA released a statement in 2019 about the lawsuits.
“While we cannot comment on the specifics of a pending lawsuit, we would like to make it clear that the health and safety of our student-athletes is a priority. flagship of UCLA,” the statement read. “We strongly deny and will defend ourselves against the allegations made in the lawsuit. We treat every injury with the highest standard of care. Our team’s doctors and sports medicine staff work hand-in-hand in diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment, and they are the only individuals who determine when student-athletes are allowed to participate. join their sport; The coaches were not involved in these decisions”.
In their court papers, the NCAA’s attorneys claimed the organization owes no Lopez “a perceived legal obligation,” with no “direct supervision or control over student-athletes.” and that Lopez “had a head injury while in college that had nothing to do with him. participating in football.”