Blog Entry

NCAA mandates sickle cell trait testing

Posted on: April 13, 2010 12:30 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2010 9:04 pm

The NCAA finally addressed the leading cause of death of among  football players in the last decade.

The association announced Tuesday that its Legislative Council approved legislation mandating all Division I schools test for sickle cell trait.

As part of a lawsuit settled last year, the NCAA said it would begin merely recommending to members that it test for the trait. Sickle cell trait had become the leading cause of death among football players since 2000. The settlement came about after the family of Rice player Dale Lloyd, who passed in 2006, filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The NCAA has documented sickle cell trait deaths going back 35 years. However, it had never formally recommended testing for the trait, in part, because of legal concerns. The test is relatively inexpensive, from $5 to $30 per player.

According to Oklahoma trainer Scott Anderson, a leading authority on the subject, before the legislation approximately 64 percent of NCAA schools test for the trait. However, as the deaths and lawsuits piled up, scrutiny increased. Pending an autopsy result, an Ole Miss player who died in February could become the ninth victim of the condition since 1990.

Sickle cell is an inherited condition that occurs in approximately 8 percent (one in 12) of the country's African-American population. Caucasians are susceptible at a much lower rate.

During extreme exertion, the trait can cause complications. Those with the trait who are not properly acclimated to during workouts can have their red blood cells "sickle". Those cells can accumulate in the bloodstream causing a "log jam" and leading to the rapid breakdown of muscles and organs.

Sickle cell trait is a condition, not a disease and is inherited from parents.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2010 9:23 pm

NCAA mandates sickle cell trait testing

It will also hamper schools to hand out scholies if they know a kid has this trait.

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2010 11:53 am

NCAA mandates sickle cell trait testing

It should be made a requirement - even at birth like PKU and some other diseases.  To me, you are irresponsible as a parent if someone in your family has had sickle cell and you either neglect to or refuse to test your kids for the trait, especially if they are athletic.  

Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2010 2:44 pm

NCAA may address sickle cell trait concerns today

Inform the parents and let them do the testing.  To sue a school for this is stupid. 

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