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Pitcher claims injury ended pro prospects

PROVO, Utah -- A former Brigham Young University baseball
player is suing the university, claiming a weight training exercise
injured him so severely he will never realize his dream of pitching
at the professional level.

Scott Koffman filed a $9.2 million suit Thursday in U.S.
District Court against BYU and a conditioning coach.

He claims he suffered three herniated discs from being forced to
use too much weight while performing an elevated leg press in
September 2001.

Koffman claimed when he tried to take off some weight, he was
stopped by Justin McClure, the assistant strength and conditioning
coach.

He alleges McClure, who is named in the lawsuit, called him a
vulgar name, added another 100 pounds and ordered him to lift.

Koffman suffered the spinal injury on his first repetition, the
lawsuit contends.

The Olympus High School product was drafted in the 27th round by
the Baltimore Orioles before deciding to attend BYU.

In the 2001 season with the Cougars, before he claims he was
injured, the right-handed pitcher had a 3-1 record and 7.44 ERA
when pitching 42 innings in 17 appearances.

In the 2002 season, after the alleged injury, he compiled a 4-4
record with a 6.59 ERA in 16 appearances.

"His defense and pitching brought BYU back into the
extra-inning game against New Mexico in Provo, including a dive to
his knees to throw out a Lobo, then struck out the next two
batters, including UNM's home run hitter," according to Koffman's
2002 highlights listed in his profile on the BYU baseball Web page.

The debilitating pain affected his performance and caused him to
be redshirted the next season, according to Koffman.

The pain also affected his ability to study, causing his grades
to drop, he claims. Koffman says he will be affected physically and
financially for the rest of his life because of the injury.

A message left with a BYU spokeswoman Friday by The Associated
Press was not immediately returned.