NCAA, D-II Slippery Rock sued over death of Jack Hill, Jr.

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The family of a Division II basketball player that died after an intense practice due to complications from sickle cell trait have sued Slippery Rock (PA) University and the NCAA.

The parents of Jack Hill Jr., Jack Sr. and Cheryl, said that their son wasn’t screened for sickle cell trait and that school officials didn’t do enough to save their son’s life. Screening for sickle cell wasn’t required for Division I athletes until 2010 or for Division II athletes until 2012.

Hill died exactly two years ago Tuesday, on September 10th, 2011.

“The tragedy of the preventable death of a promising young man is that knowing that sickle cell trait was the leading cause of student athlete deaths, the NCAA began mandating testing for SCT at Division I schools in 2010, but the mandate didn’t take effect at Division II schools like Slippery Rock until August 2012 — a year after Jack’s death, and a direct contributor to it,” said Tom Kline, the parents’ attorney who announced the lawsuit Monday.

Sickle cell trait is not a disease state and it does not affect the normal life expectancy of someone with the SCT, but it is dangerous for athletes. When a person with SCT exerts themselves too much physically, their red blood cells can sickle, or form c-shapes. Those sickles can result in blockages being in veins and capillaries, which can have serious, sometimes deadly, repercussions if the logjams stop the blood from flowing.

Athletes with SCT can be just as successful as athletes without SCT. Last summer, I wrote a story on Billy Garrett, who is currently a freshman at DePaul, and how he battles SCT. Proper hydration is a key, as is the moderation and mitigation of their physical exertion. Athletes with SCT should get more time to finish a timed two-mile run, or more time in between suicides at the end of practices.

Hill, according to the lawsuit, died during a “nighttime ‘insanity practice’ [held] as punishment for the entire team,” according to the AP.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.