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U. of Iowa Settles With Athlete Who Was Hospitalized After Workout

The University of Iowa has agreed to pay $15,000 to settle a personal-injury lawsuit filed by a former football player who spent a week in the hospital after a mandatory, high-stress workout in 2011, the Associated Press reported.

The athlete, William Lowe, now 26, was one of 13 players hospitalized with exertional rhabdomyolysis, in which excessive muscular strain makes muscle tissue deteriorate, dumping proteins into the bloodstream and potentially causing kidney damage. Mr. Lowe, the only one of the athletes to sue, accused the football staff of “developing and implementing a dangerous, improper training program,” the AP reported.

The staff regarded the workout as a test of both stamina and toughness, as well as a way to tell which players “wanted to be on the team,” according to an investigative report commissioned by Iowa and quoted by the AP.

The incident was one of several in recent years in which competitive pressures and college athletes’ safety have come into conflict.

The settlement is subject to approval by the state and by the judge supervising the case.

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