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Soccer Dispute Goes to Court

Posted Updated
J.J. Ossola
DURHAM — It was 1994 when a soccer match between Dukeand Clemson turned violent. A fight broke out resulting in one player injured and another ejected from the game.

That was on the field.

Wednesday, the dispute went to court where former Duke player J.J.Ossola, Jr. is suing former Clemson player Wolde Harris for breaking hisjaw.

Harris' attorney says Harris was just defending himself after Ossolaattacked him, but Ossola claims it was a cheap shot. He's asking for morethan $10,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

The effects of this case are not only going to be felt in thecourtroom, they'll also be felt on playing courts and fields nationwide.The verdict could have a profound effect on all college and high schoolathletics if other injured players decide lawsuits are called for. If anyare successful, that could effect on the intensity ofplay, with players worried about hurting each other.

Of course, some say that would be a good thing, with participants beingheld accountable for their actions.

Harris now plays soccer for the Jamaican National team and themajor league Colorado Rapids

A verdict in the trial is expected Friday.

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