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Dr. Saturday

Former Iowa player sues university after 2011 hospitalization

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Former Iowa cornerback William Lowe is suing the university for a 2011 incident that left him hospitalized with exertional rhabdomyolysis and has since caused him lasting harm.

Lowe was one of 13 Iowa football players who were hospitalized following several workouts at the start of winter conditioning. All 13 players were hospitalized and diagnosed with exertional rhabdomyolysis, a condition that releases protein into the bloodstream and can cause kidney failure.

In the suit, Lowe alleges that coaches and trainers failed to respond to players when they complained of severe pain and other symptoms during a workout on Jan. 20, 2011. That workout consisted of 100 back squats players were asked to do at 50 percent of their personal best. According to a study by University of Iowa doctors published last year, those back squats were "significantly associated" with an increased risk of rhabdomyolysis.

Despite the complaints, players were asked to come back for another grueling workout and, after a weekend off, players ended up in the hospital following another workout on Jan. 24. Lowe said he was in the hospital until Feb. 2.

Lowe never rejoined the team though he was cleared to play again.

After his release from the hospital, Lowe said he still suffered from weight loss, headaches, high blood pressure and pain in his lower back and legs. Now 24, Lowe said he’s still suffering from mental and physical pain, which has required medical care, therapy and medication.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter

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