Oregon DT, draft prospect Ngata's mother dies

Updated: January 17, 2006, 3:24 PM ET
Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who announced earlier this month that he is leaving school early to enter the NFL draft, has lost his mother to a kidney ailment.

Olga Ngata, 44, died Friday in a Phoenix, Ariz., hospital where she was undergoing dialysis. She apparently had cardiac arrest during the treatment, the university said in a statement.

Ngata, a junior listed at 6-foot-5, 338 pounds, was a first-team All-America selection this season. He said financial concerns and his mother's poor health led him to the decision to enter the draft.

"I just want to help my family out," Ngata said at the time. "My mom's going to be in and out of the hospital."

Ngata's father, Solomone, was killed in a truck accident in 2002.

Ngata had three sacks and nine tackles for loss this season. He ranked sixth on the Ducks in total tackles with 61, including 32 unassisted. He made a season-high 11 tackles against California.

Oregon went 10-2 this season, with a regular-season loss to Southern California and a 17-14 loss to Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl. The Ducks finished ranked No. 12.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press