Posted by Adam Jacobi
A rhabdomyolysis scare may have briefly hospitalized 13 Iowa players earlier this year, but it has finally claimed its first permanent casualty of sorts. Willie Lowe, a cornerback who played a key reserve role for the Hawkeyes, announced today that he would be seeking a transfer from the school, according to Joe Schad.
"I would like to be able to sit out a year, regain my strength, feel fine and play again," Lowe told ESPN when asked about the prospect of playing football again. "But I don't know. I am still down 20 pounds and I am having headaches every few days."
Even as the 13 players have all been medically cleared to practice, most are still working to fully recover. There's a world of difference between "allowed to start practicing football again" and "back to normal," after all, and Lowe isn't the only player on that Iowa team who's still struggling to regain his pre-rhabdo form. Still, the fact that some players are at full speed already is promising, considering the fact that there's still five months of off-season left. That number of fully recovered players can only go up, after all.
As far as whether this is the last of the rhabdo-related transfers, that remains to be seen. There's little indication that a mass exodus of players is coming, to put it mildly, but the aftermath of the hospitalization and recovery will take months and years to unfold, long after every player has recovered. The longer said recovery takes, after all, the longer that player spends performing at a sub-optimal level -- all while his former backup (if he had one) relishes his new role with the team. At that point, the previously stricken player may decide to transfer just to get a little playing time instead of staying buried on the depth chart. Is that still a rhabdo-related transfer? Perhaps, but if the hypothetical player holds no animosity toward the coaches over the incident, then it's disingenuous to lump him in with Lowe, whose transfer is directly related to his rhabdomyolysis recover. So we'll see how this all shakes out; for now, it just looks as if the Iowa secondary just took a small hit, depth-wise, but that's about it.