Devaughn Darling Age: 18 School: Florida State Date of death: Feb. 26, 2001 Circumstances: Darling, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker preparing for his sophomore season, collapsed while doing mat drills during offseason conditioning workouts. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden told reporters the workout was inspired by legendary coach Bear Bryant and was intended to push players to their limits, but not past them. Darling and his teammates did a series of non-contact, grueling agility drills that involved quickly running, jumping and changing direction on mats inside of a gym. Darling, who had been suffering from a head cold and took over-the-counter medication to treat the cold, collapsed during the workout and later died. Darling was a strong athlete who played both sides of the ball at Houston's Austin High School in Texas before signing with Florida State. He recorded 11 tackles on the special teams unit during his freshman season in 2000. Darling's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Florida State. The school agreed to pay the family $2 million to settle the lawsuit. However, Florida State is a public university and has never made any proves to separate its athletic department as a private institution. Under Florida law, state agencies such as Florida State cannot pay more than $200,000 in damages without approval from the state Legislature because it was considered a potential undue burden on taxpayers. Florida State paid the Darling family $200,000. As of July 24, 2011, the Darling family has not received the remainder of the settlement.
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