USC's Telfort can't play due to heart condition

July, 29, 2009
7/29/09
9:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Incoming USC freshman Frankie Telfort has been diagnosed with serious genetic heart condition that will prevent him from playing football, the school announced Wednesday.

Telfort was a highly touted linebacker out of Miami.

"This is obviously very difficult news for Frankie, his family and all of us in the football program," USC coach coach Pete Carroll said in a statement. "But we're very thankful doctors discovered the issue before it led to anything worse."

Discovering the problem at this stage most likely saved Telfort's life. According to a release from USC:

Telfort was examined by several of L.A.'s top heart specialists before flying to the Minneapolis Heart Institute last week for a final opinion. Cardiologists determined the 17-year-old had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects 1 in 500 Americans and is the most common cardiovascular cause of sudden death in the world.

USC said it would still honor Telfort's scholarship through 2013.

"Everybody's football career unfortunately ends at some point and no one's ever ready for it," Carroll said in the statement. "For some guys, it comes sooner than expected. But you're a football player and a Trojan for life, and Frankie is definitely both."

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