Family to receive $1.8 million from FSU for death of football player

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 2, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law Friday that will compensate the parents of Devaughn Darling nearly $2 million. The Florida State University football player died during preseason training in 2001.

"Me and Devaughn, we were just inseparable. You know, just to have that bond with someone else, it was incredible, and that's something I feel I still have to this day. I still feel him every day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him," said Devard Darling, Devaughn’s identical twin brother.

Devaughn passed away 16 years ago after running drills at practice. He was 18 years old.

"It was certainly the most sad day that I went through and I know that every coach that was out there, it was the most devastating day that we've experienced in all of our years here at Florida State," said former FSU Associate Head Football Coach Jim Gladden.

The linebacker was getting ready to start in the upcoming season.
Medical examiners could not determine the exact cause of death. They did discover Devaughn had sickle cell trait, which although rare, has been associated with sudden, unexpected death in healthy men.

Governor Scott signed CS/CS/HB 6515 Relief of Wendy Smith and Dennis Darling, Sr. into law Friday.

The bill directs Florida State University to provide $1.8 million in relief to Wendy Smith and Dennis Darling, Sr. for the wrongful death of their son, Devaughn Darling, during preseason football training.

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