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Blog Entry

Toledo freshman's career abruptly ends

Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:08 pm
 
By Matt Norlander

You're not hurt, not sore, not visibly in pain.

But your career is over.

That's the reality for incoming Toledo freshman Justin Moss, who was recently diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. That essentially means his heart is heavier than a normal person's, and he's at risk of sudden cardiac failure, should he engage in high-level cardiovascular activities.

We've seen way too many athletes unexpectedly, unknowingly die from this. It's tragic precisely because of that -- the diagnosis that was never made. Praise to the doctors who identified Moss' problem early enough and prevented another possible tragedy on the court. The Toledo Blade has more:

"It is with mixed emotions that we are announcing that Justin Moss can no longer play competitive basketball," UT coach Tod Kowalczyk said Thursday. "I'm deeply saddened for Justin and his family that he has to give up his love and passion, but at the same time, I'm relieved and excited that Justin can live a happy, normal and healthy life."

Moss failed a routine physical at the end of June, and UT medical personnel had a suspicion he may have the potentially deadly heart condition known as HCM.

Moss, accompanied by UT assistant athletic director for sports medicine Brian Jones, flew to Boston to meet with Dr. Martin Maron, a leading expert in HCM who diagnosed Moss with the disease and recommended he never play competitive sports again.

It's such a tough decision to make, again, because of the lack of real pain or prohibitive measures within one's body. But it's necessary. We've blogged about this before, if you'd like more background on why this is a concern within all of college sports. It's necessary that all programs give physicals and check heart conditions of their athletes -- every year. The mortality rates for college athletes, in terms of heart-related afflictions, has risen in recent years.

The lesser of the unfortunates here is that Moss was expected to be an impact player for the Rockets this season. Toledo won a combined eight games the past two seasons and hasn't been above .500 in five. The Rockets now have just nine scholarship players for 2011-12 due to lopped off scholarships after the program had sub-par Academic Progress Rate scores.

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: July 30, 2011 11:19 am
 

This deserves a standing ovation.

If more schools were this careful, a few lives would be saved.  I'm also for not allowing anyone with sickle cell trait to participate in anything more demanding on the CVS than golf, bowling, or rifle.  Sometimes, though, athletes or their parents want to ignore advice.  Even while DeVaughn Darling's family was suing FSU for his death, his twin with the same trait, Devard, went to play for Washington State and the NFL, and is now in the UFL.  



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: July 30, 2011 11:19 am
 

This deserves a standing ovation.

If more schools were this careful, a few lives would be saved.  I'm also for not allowing anyone with sickle cell trait to participate in anything more demanding on the CVS than golf, bowling, or rifle.  Sometimes, though, athletes or their parents want to ignore advice.  Even while DeVaughn Darling's family was suing FSU for his death, his twin with the same trait, Devard, went to play for Washington State and the NFL, and is now in the UFL.  



Since: Dec 18, 2010
Posted on: July 30, 2011 10:24 am
 

Toledo shows class

Classy move to allow him to finish school, sad for the young man who can no longer chase the dream, but hopefully a sigh of relief for his family to not have to deal with sudden tragedy down the road



Since: Jul 30, 2011
Posted on: July 30, 2011 2:01 am
 

Toledo freshman's career abruptly ends

I was Justin's high school coach at Romulus. You won't meet a better kid. Really feel bad for him, but fortunate we found out about this before an autopsy let us know he had this heart condition. This is the same condition Hank Gathers died of. Not mentioned in the article is the fact that Toledo is still going to honor his scholarship for the four years. This shows how much they care for the players in their program as people and not just pieces of meat. I've gained a lot of respect for Coach Kowalcyk, his staff, and the administration at Toledo throughout this whole process.



Since: Jul 9, 2011
Posted on: July 29, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Toledo freshman's career abruptly ends

That's too bad. My thoughts and prayers go out to Justin Moss, his family and his friends. Best of luck to this young man in his future endeavors.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com