Family of Former Ole Miss’ Football Player to Receive $50,000 as a Settlement Deal in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit


The family of a former Ole Miss' football player, who died following a pre-season workout in February 2010, will receive $50,000 from an insurance company in a settlement deal with the university in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Bennie Abram III, a 20-year-old non-scholarship player from Southaven, Miss., collapsed during the first day of an off season football practice and later died at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford.

According to the Lanier Law Firm, an autopsy determined Abram's death was caused by complications from sickle cell trait, which can alter red blood cells after strenuous exercise.

Earlier, parents of the deceased, Bennie and Erma Abram of Southaven, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university, athletic department officials and the NCAA in 2011.

The lawsuit claims that the university did not follow the guidelines and the first day of the spring training was 'carelessly and recklessly excessive.' It also states that Abram was unaware of the trait and he didn't receive proper medical care when he began struggling during the workouts, and was instead asked to continue.

Gene Egdorf, Abrams' attorney said that the family will also receive $275,000 from the NCAA's insurance policy. The university has also decided to pay for any undergraduate and graduate courses for Abram's mother and two brothers done at the school.

The NCAA has introduced a set of guidelines for institutions about the training of athletes with sickle cell trait. It urges universities to follow a 'slow and gradual' preseason training schedule and to 'stop immediately upon struggling.'

Abrams, an Ole Miss junior was a walk-on defensive back and a 2007 graduate of DeSoto Central High School.

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