D.J. Bowles won't play at Wichita St.

Updated: September 20, 2013, 8:44 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Wichita State's medical staff denied medical clearance to freshman D.J. Bowles after he had a defibrillator implanted, but the school will honor his four-year scholarship, it announced Friday night.

The decision was made by the WSU-ICAA medical staff because of Bowles' heart condition. Bowles collapsed 3 minutes, 30 seconds into a Sept. 3 practice at Wichita State. Trainer Todd Fagan and the athletic staff used an automated external defibrillator to save Bowles' life before emergency medical personnel arrived and he was rushed to a local hospital.

What exactly caused Bowles to collapse is unknown, which led to Wichita State's decision, according to a source with direct knowledge.

The medical staff was not comfortable in releasing Bowles, knowing that the main trigger was him competing athletically in a strenuous activity.

Bowles underwent tests at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and had the implantable cardiovascular defibrillator (ICD) installed there on Sept. 12.

Bowles returned to Wichita State and has been in classes all week. The school cannot use his scholarship this semester but will seek a waiver from the NCAA to be able to use his spot on the roster amid the NCAA maximum 13 scholarships, beginning in the second semester.

Bowles, a 6-foot-2 guard from Chattanooga, Tenn., who played at Oldsmar Christian High in Florida last season, was expected to be one of the top backup point guards for the Shockers. Wichita State is expected to move a shooting guard to the backup point guard position in Bowles' absence.

Comparing Bowles' situation to Utah State's Danny Berger wouldn't be applicable because every medical case has to be treated differently, according to a source.

Berger, who collapsed last December and had a defibrillator implanted, was cleared by the Aggies to play this season. But Berger was treated and is being monitored by the medical staff at a nearby hospital. Bowles was seen by doctors in Minnesota, not Kansas.

Bowles could seek out a school that would clear him in the coming years if he so chooses.

Players in the past with a similar condition and situation, such as Emmanuel Negedu (Tennessee to New Mexico), have sought clearance at another school after being denied clearance.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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