Big Ten: David Miles

Iowa officials on Thursday announced that a 90-day investigation is under way to determine the cause for 13 football players being hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.

The analysis began shortly after the players were hospitalized Monday and Tuesday, and university president Sally Mason met Thursday with Board of Regents president David Miles to determine the timeline. Results will be presented to the Board of Regents after the investigation concludes.

In a joint statement, Mason and Miles said the hospitalization of so many players is "a cause for grave concern."
"Going forward, it is essential that we take the necessary steps to understand the factors that led to this to ensure that it never happens again," Miles said in a prepared statement. "This morning President Sally Mason and I agreed to a 90-day timeline for completion of a root cause analysis of the events that led to the need to hospitalize these young men. At president Mason’s direction, this analysis was already underway shortly after the incident, and I appreciate the university’s efforts to involve independent medical experts in the process from the earliest moments."
"The primary aim of this analysis will be to identify, to the extent possible, the root causes of this incident in order to create and implement effective preventative measures to ensure this does not happen in the future,” Mason said in a prepared statement. "It is an essential responsibility of the university to determine what is likely to have caused this rare condition among so many young men at one time, and to share those findings."

It will be interesting to see the results of the investigation and whether any Iowa staff members face discipline for what happened.

Iowa seems to be taking this very seriously and it should. Intense workouts certainly aren't unique to Iowa, but the number of players hospitalized with a potentially serious condition merits close scrutiny.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The spotlight remains on Iowa City, where the state Board of Regents held a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the University of Iowa's response to an alleged sexual assault involving two former Hawkeyes football players and a female student-athlete in October. The Regents unanimously voted to reopen their investigation in light of a letter sent by the mother of the alleged victim that was not received during the Board's initial investigation, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

University president Sally Mason apologized for not releasing the letter, expressing "profound and sincere regret." She added that the university would fully cooperate with the new investigation. Regents president David Miles called the school's failure to release the letter a "serious breach of trust." The school might have committed another no-no by not seeking permission from the alleged victim before releasing her mother's letter to the public on Monday. A spokesman said that by releasing the letter to the Press-Citizen last week, the alleged victim's family was comfortable with it going public. Meanwhile, former Hawkeyes star Tim Dwight is bothered by the program's recent rash of off-field problems, but he places blame on the players, not Kirk Ferentz or the coaching staff.

All in all, not a good situation for the Hawkeyes.

Elsewhere:

  • Former USC quarterback Carson Palmer backed off his anti-Ohio State comments, Ken Gordon writes in The Columbus Dispatch. He's just fired up about the game. Who isn't?
  • ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman lists his top 10 must-see games for 2008. Not surprisingly, Ohio State-USC is No. 1, while Wisconsin's trip to Fresno State comes in at No. 9. I'd include Ohio State at Wisconsin on the list, but I'm Big Ten-biased.
  • Missed this one Monday from The Indianapolis Star's Terry Hutchens, who writes that Indiana's days of being at the bottom of the league's recruiting rankings will end in 2009. Also, Hoosiers standout defensive end Greg Middleton has been named to the Ted Hendricks Award watch list.
  • Wisconsin added a wide receiver (Jeff Duckworth) for its 2009 recruiting class but might be losing a commitment from tackle Jon Lechner, Mark Stewart writes on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Badgers Blog.
  • Jack Bogaczyk of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail thinks Rich Rodriguez will shake up the Big Ten.
  • Ohio State has become the second Big Ten school, along with Penn State, to establish a chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Earlier this month I wrote about Penn State's Lift For Life event, which raises funds and awareness to fight kidney cancer. Ohio State's chapter will hold its first event, a college football video game tournament, on July 27 at Eddie George's Grille 27 in Columbus. The event also will benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. Buckeyes quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels has been battling kidney cancer since 2006.
  • The Detroit News' Angelique S. Chengelis lists her five favorite college football uniforms. Both Penn State and Ohio State make the rundown. As a Michigan beat writer, she'll probably take flack for including the Buckeyes, but I like the pick.

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