Brutal Practice Sends 5 Players to Hospital

Concordia in Chicago investigates allegations team was being punished for curfew violation
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2023 3:30 PM CST
College Sidelines Coach After Tough Practice Sends 5 Players to Hospital
Stock photo   (Getty/Liudmila Chernetska)

A Chicago college has postponed games and replaced its head basketball coach at least temporarily after five players were hospitalized following a team practice that the school called "a particularly high-intensity, collegiate-level circuit training." Concordia University said it's investigating, as is its conference, CBS News reports. The Division III school's athletic director acknowledged allegations that "the intensity and difficulty of Saturday's practice was a direct consequence of the broken curfew earlier in the week." In a letter to players and parents, per CBS Sports, Pete Gnan said, "Our athletics program has zero tolerance for harassment or retaliatory actions of any kind."

The players were admitted to a hospital between Monday and Wednesday, and the school said one was still there as of Thursday. Some were dealing with conditions similar to lactic acidosis and rhabdomyolysis, per CBS Sports. Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by physical exertion, experts said, and can lead to death or permanent disability. "Usually you see this sort of stuff in the marathon runners, the soccer players, sort of the endurance athletes," said Dr. Christopher Hicks of Northwestern Medicine. "Good coaches know who to push, who not to push," he added. Concordia named assistant coach Rashaan Surles as acting head coach, in place of Steve Kollar. The team hasn't played a game since Dec. 29, after postponing games scheduled for Tuesday and Saturday. (More college basketball stories.)

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