Cal faces wrongful death suit from family of deceased player Agu

It was a horrific season on the field last year for Sonny Dykes and the California faithful, but the Golden Bears suffered an even bigger loss earlier this year when they had to deal with the sudden death of one of their own to cap a tumultuous time in Berkeley.

Defensive end Ted Agu, a 21-year-old former walk-on, collapsed during a morning training run in early February and later passed away at a nearby hospital after attempts to revive him failed.

Now Agu's family is bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the University of California regents and alleging that the school failed to notice symptoms that led to the tragic death.

According to the Bay Area News Group, the law firm Panish, Shea and Boyle will file the suit on behalf of the family and hold a news conference on Tuesday morning in Oakland to discuss the matter with the media.

"During the course of the conditioning drill, Agu experienced dizziness, shortness of breath, loss of balance, and other signs of extreme fatigue that were clearly symptomatic of the sickling process," a release from the firm said. "Despite the symptoms which clearly could and should have been observed, UCB coaches and trainers failed to immediately come to Agu's assistance.

"It was only after Agu struggled and encountered obvious difficulties for a significant period of time that intervention occurred and he was placed on a cart and taken back towards the stadium where he collapsed for the last time."

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Alameda County coroner's office ruled Agu died as a result of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The issue has caused the deaths of numerous young athletes over the years, including former basketball star Hank Gathers.

"I think when you have tragedy, it forces people to come together and to talk and trust each other," Dykes said last month at Pac-12 Media Days. "I think our players have done a great job of honoring Ted and expect (them) to do so during the season. Anytime you have tragedy, it brings people together."

The Golden Bears open the season at Northwestern and are ranked 89th in the College Football 24/7 team rankings for 2014.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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