One of the University of Iowa football players who suffered a muscle disorder, blamed on brutal off-season workouts, says the state didn’t do enough to protect him.
William Lowe filed a lawsuit Monday, March 10, 2014 claiming the State of Iowa is ultimately responsible for the actions of the coaches, athletic trainers and other staff at the university who dictated the nature and intensity of the workouts that caused 13 football players to suffer rhabdomyolysis.
The players were hospitalized in January 2011 for the condition, which a university committee later said was a direct result of intense lower-body workouts involving squats with heavy weights and pulling a weighted sled.
Rhabdomyolysis can damage cells and cause kidney damage or kidney failure.
Lowe’s lawsuit alleges players were still required to participate in mandatory intensive workouts after reporting dark urine, soreness and significant leg pain. Lowe was granted a release from the University of Iowa football program in April 2011 because of lingering effects from rhabdo.
ESPN reported the university committee that investigated the rhabdo cases at Iowa had determined some players did not immediately report symptoms to the athletic staff and that the first diagnosis came only after a trainer found a player had high blood pressure.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said the workout in question would no longer be used.
Lowe is the first of the affected players to file legal action. Lowe is asking for his legal fees and for compensation for his past, present and future mental and physical pain and anguish he says he suffered because of the rhabdomyolysis.