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Battle Of The Junkyard Dogs

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The tragic death of Rice freshman football player Dale Lloyd, who collapsed during a practice in 2006, might just turn into an epic courtroom battle.

Mark Lanier, the Houston plaintiffs' lawyer known for Vioxx, big verdicts and the most lavish, if liquor-free, Christmas party in town, is representing Lloyd's parents in a suit against Rice, school coaches and employees, and the NCAA.

"If Rice University had conducted simple blood tests on African-American student athletes, then they would have seen that Dale had the sickle cell trait and that he should have never been given a creatine-based supplement directly before being forced to complete such a brutal workout," Lanier said in a press release.

Representing Rice in the suit: Rusty Hardin.

Now that's a courtroom battle to watch, if it ever gets to trial.

Rice issued a lengthy statement on the suit, including this:

Rice regrets Dale’s death and the loss suffered by his family. Dale’s teammates, coaches, professors and other Rice friends share the Lloyd family’s sorrow. Nonetheless, university employees acted responsibly throughout the unfortunate incident, and Rice will defend itself vigorously against this litigation.

-- Richard Connelly

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