On Wednesday, Virginia Tech announced that forward Allan Chaney -- who was diagnosed with myocarditis, a viral inflammation of the heart, after he collapsed in 2010 -- would not be cleared to play for the Hokies in 2011-12. Chaney had been hoping a recent spate of procedures to remove scar tissue from his heart would improve his condition enough to be approved by Virginia Tech. But because doctors could not rule out the small possibility that he will suffer complications again, Virginia Tech made the decision -- a laudably responsible one, painful though it may have been -- to tell Chaney he would never be cleared to play as a Hokie.
That might be the end of most players' careers. But like Emmanuel Negedu, who transferred to New Mexico after Tennessee refused to clear his cardiac issues, Chaney is still hoping to overcome his heart condition and play college basketball sooner rather than later. His plan, via the Roanoke Times:
The Baltimore native said that if he can't find a school that will let him suit up this season, he will remain at Tech and graduate next summer. He would then hope that a pro team overseas is willing to let him play. But Chaney said he thinks some college will clear him.
"I have to get the defibrillator first, and then I have to prove that I'm going to be healthy and I can compete without any problems," Chaney said. "Somebody may take me. And if they don't, then I'm going to have to bear up. It's just going to be another speed bump."
The chances of Chaney playing again seem slim. Virginia Tech's decision doesn't exactly bode well. Few coaches -- and even fewer team doctors -- are willing to take the risk on a kid with any sort of heart condition, even one who might only have a "two percent" chance (according to Chaney's account of his diagnosis) of striking again in the future. Hopefully, the defibrillator option is a viable one, and Chaney can carve out a career somewhere next season. More likely is that schools tell him they're not willing to take the risk, either.
Whatever happens, the Hokie is remaining impressively positive:
"My grandmother told me the second day after I passed out, 'When you pray, never beg. Never ask why.' " he said. "My father told me the same thing: Never ask why.
"I try to stay positive and I just try to move on. ... I've talked to some players in college that have defibrillators that are playing. So I'm not really concerned."