IOWA CITY — At least a dozen Iowa football players were admitted to University Hospitals on Monday night for undisclosed ailments that may be related to recent workouts in which they participated.
A staff physician and football team physician said the athletes “were responding well to treatment,” according to a release from the university.
The release provided no details, however, about what the players were being treated for.
“The student-athletes were admitted throughout the course of Monday evening,” the supervising physician said. “All of the individuals are responding well to treatment as of Tuesday morning. All are in safe and stable condition. At this time, we are not sure when any of the individuals will be discharged. Hospital discharge will be on a case-by-case basis.”
A “clarification” issued by the university’s sports information office later in the evening stated that all the players involved had taken part in “NCAA allowable winter workouts. The symptoms, for which the student-athletes are being treated, are likely related to those workouts.”
Some Iowa players noted on their Facebook pages in recent days that the workouts included “100 squats and pushing a sled 100 yards” and that those drills had given them leg problems. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported the players were treated for exertional rhabdomyolysis, an acute breakdown of the kidneys.
Tom Moore, the media relations coordinator for University Hospitals, said the physician was unnamed in the release by his choice and that under federal law, the players could not be named without their written consent.
“There is no indication that this is of any danger to the public at large,” Moore said. “It doesn’t appear there is an infectious process at work. It doesn’t appear to be spreading to the rest of the team.
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“We’re still trying to determine the cause,” he added, “which is why there is a hesitancy to say much until we know more.”
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta was quoted in the university release as saying that coach Kirk Ferentz was out of town on a recruiting trip, but was being made aware of developments in the conditions of the players.
“Our No. 1 concern is the safety of our student-athletes, so we are pleased with the positive feedback,” Barta said. “Our next step is to find out what happened so we can avoid this happening in the future.”
The university release also stated that there would be “no further comment at this time.”