Former UCF football player Anthony Davis told a jury coach George O'Leary ordered athletic trainers and water be removed from the fieldhouse during Ereck Plancher's final workout.
Davis was the second UCF football player to testify no one intervened when Plancher showed signs of distress during March 18, 2008 conditioning drills on the UCF campus. Plancher died shortly after the workout.
UCF Athletics Association attorney Kevin Taylor cross examined Davis, aiming to highlight at least five inconsistencies between his previous sworn statements and his testimony to the jury.
Davis told the jury Monday after the football team completed a series of agility drills on March 18, 2008, O'Leary ordered the coaches to start assembling an obstacle course. Davis said O'Leary appeared to be angry and yelled, "I want water and trainers out of here."
When he was asked to describe O'Leary's demeanor, Davis said, "He was red. He was yelling."
Taylor asked Davis why he left what seemed like major details, including O'Leary's order to remove trainers and water from the fieldhouse, out of his April 18,
2008, sworn statement to a UCF attorney.
Davis responded that O'Leary told the players before they gave their sworn statements "these people don't care about you" and to "keep it simple." Davis said Manny Messengeur, who currently works as O'Leary's personal assistant, was in the room while the UCF attorney was taking his statement. Davis said he didn't know Messengeur's exact role with the team at the time, but he recalled that he was friends with O'Leary. Davis said he was concerned anything he said during the sworn statements would be relayed to O'Leary.
"I had a stranger looking at me, monitoring what I am saying," Davis said.
Davis appeared mostly on the UCF special teams unit and completed his eligibility at the end of the 2008 season. He now works for the Boys and Girls Club.
He said he never lied during any of his sworn statements.
Davis said he was asked one broad question on April 18, 2008, about what happened the day Plancher died. He said he provided more specific information when he was asked by attorneys during two subsequent depositions and his testimony Monday.
Gisele Plancher, Ereck Plancher's mother, wiped away tears while Davis described Plancher's final workout. Davis and Plancher were both wide receivers on the team and went through the entire workout together.
He said the Knights lifted weights, then quickly changed their shoes before going to the indoor practice facility. Davis said the team did three agility stations inside the fieldhouse -- back peddling and sprinting in different directions based on coaches' instructions, jumping over bags about 12 inches high and doing a shuttle drill around cones. He said the players had to sprint between each drill.
O'Leary then began setting up what Davis described as an intense obstacle course the team had never done before.
Davis said the team's only opportunity to drink water during the workout was between the time players left the weight room and entered the indoor practice facility.
He said the obstacle course included more agility drills, including hopping over mats and weaving through cones. The course spanned 200 yards, with players quickly going from one end zone to the other and back to the beginning.
Davis said Plancher was in distress during the obstacle course and Davis had to help him complete his second run through the course.
During cross examination, Davis said he recalled receiver Jamar Newsome also assisting Plancher.
Taylor, the UCFAA attorney, asked Davis why he didn't mention that in his first sworn statement.
Davis responded that he was asked a broad and general question about what happened that day. During all subsequent depositions and testimony, Davis said he was asked specific questions during his depositions.