Hawkeyes must pass blood tests to return

January, 31, 2011
1/31/11
3:50
PM ET
All 13 Iowa players stricken with rhabdomyolysis have been released from the hospital, but their return to winter training hinges on blood tests they'll take in the coming days and weeks.

Colleague Joe Schad reports that players will have blood tests every two or three days to check kidney function and whether muscle breakdown material remains in the system. A source tells Schad that all 13 players previously tested well outside the normal range, which isn't surprising given their condition.

Some additional information:
The players' families have met with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta, the source said. The meetings involved questions about for how long the intense workouts had been planned, whether players' access to water was restricted and if players who missed a team-provided meal were told to run.
At least two of the players who were hospitalized had received workout awards from the team's strength staff in the past. A key returning starter was among the hospitalized, the source said. ...
Several of the players' families have been contacted by attorneys interested in filing negligence suits, the source said.

I hope for two things in the Iowa case. The first is obvious: for the players to fully recover and return to normal team activities. From what we heard last week from Dr. John Stokes and other medical experts, most people who have rhabdomyolysis are able to fully recover.

The second thing is trickier. I want Ferentz, Barta and other Iowa officials to get to the bottom of what happened during those workouts. Only the players and the strength coaches know, but players are loyal and don't want to say things that could come back to hurt their well-respected coaches. No one wants to be labeled a rat or a soft football player.

Perhaps these workouts were standard and had been done countless times before without any players ending up in the hospital.

But if the strength coaches went too far with their demands, will the players speak up about it?

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