UT won't clear Negedu to play basketball

The University of Tennessee will not give medical clearance for sophomore Emmanuel Negedu to return to the men’s basketball team.

The 21-year-old from Kaduna, Nigeria, suffered sudden cardiac arrest on Sept. 28, 2009, when the sophomore’s heart stopped following a light workout and a challenge of a teammate to a race on UT’s indoor football practice field.

“Emmanuel is an exceptional young man, and we hope he will stay at UT as a student with our full support,’’ UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a statement Tuesday. “If he decides he would like to pursue a playing career at another school, we will support him in that decision, and we wish him the best.’’

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Negedu said at Monday night’s Volscars awards ceremonies that he had been cleared and hoped to play again for the Vols.

“I’m hoping it will be here,’’ Negedu said. “I had been cleared by a doctor (in California) but needed to get a second opinion. A second doctor cleared me, and I talked to Coach (Bruce) Pearl about it.’’

Like all Tennessee athletes, Negedu had undergone a precautionary heart screening months prior to collapsing, the results of which showed no signs of future problems.

UT trainer Chad Newman resuscitated Negedu with an automatic external defibrillator and performed CPR. Negedu had an ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) device implanted in his chest and was unable to play this past season.

“Coach (Pearl) said he needed to talk to the athletic director and they would have to look over all the (medical) charts,’’ Negedu said.

A UT release said the decision to deny Negedu’s request was made after “careful consideration and consultation with both medical experts and current published recommendations.”

Negedu said Monday he has begun working out on his own.

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Comments » 52

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

It sucks but it's probably best.

doctorvol#211700 writes:

No surpise, but he seems to have held out hope. What a good guy. He seemed to be everyone's (fans included) best friend in StL.

lovinthebigorange writes:

Sad to see him go. He was a really good athlete. Maybe Pearl can find an administrative way for him to be with the team.

cwbytruckers writes:

he may have been the best athlete to ever wear the orange and white for our men. and its ashame we never saw him at his best. best wishes to him in his choices at or beyond UT.

VolsToTheWall writes:

life is better than a win.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Best wishes Emmanuel. Thanks for giving your all for the Big Orange!

mrvol2u writes:

A sad bit of news. It would have been great for him to be able to play. It is good that he is doing well enough to at least be considered.

He seemed like a very nice young man. Emmanuel take advantage of the education and remember that we Vol fans appreciate you and your resolve.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

It would be neat if he hangs around awhile kinda like Inky Johnson did....

MidTennVol writes:

I agree with the sentiment that the program would do well do find a place for this young man.

I enthusiastically agree with mrvol2u's admonition that Emmanuel focus on his education. Hope he's still on a full scholarship and will graduate a Volunteer.

All_Vol writes:

I feel sick for Eman. Imagine having all that athletic talent and not be able to use it. I wish him nothing but success in his future.

Fulton_Vol writes:

Emmanuel is currently attending UT on a medical scholarship as I understand it. Most schools find monies for athletes who are injured or suffer an illness that prevents their return to their sport. I hope that Emmanuel will stay at UT even though his role would drastically change. He was a major part in the spirit of this year's team and I think he can and would contribute to the team chemistry for the next couple of years. Playing in the pros is out so focusing on his education is the best plan.

volfan2002 writes:

This is an excellent decision by the AD and Vols coach. His condition is one that is just to serious to allow him to play again for the Vols. Hopefully he will stay and play some other role with the team. I feel really bad for Eman, but think this is the best decision for him and Tennessee.

SoddyVol writes:

Makes me feel bad for Emmanuel and also for the Vols. I was looking forward to his return but I would hate to have to make the decision. Life is too valuable to gamble.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

A doctor in California also cleared Michael Jackson. I pray that Emanuel reconsiders. It's just not worth it. His situation sort of reminds me of Lee Otis Burton. Another extraordinary athlete whose career ended because of a medical condition.

ThugTillIDie writes:

We all remember what happened to Hank Gathers. He was cleared to play, he died, the family sued. The school has to protect the kid and themselves.

newportvol writes:

As much as i would love to see Negadu on the court I would hate to see him go down and not get back up.. I trust the ut drs. They know Negadu if he can play ball the UT drs will clear him 2 play.. I hope the best for u

Honky writes:

Sad. I hope he stays and supports the team, he seems like a character guy and we need more people like that around our program.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That had nothing to do with the path for Selby..UT had a scholarship available regardless of what the decision for Negedu was. Negedu was kept on scholarship last season. As a matter of fact, if he decides to go elsewhere to try and play it will free up a scholarship. Hope he stays though. If you don't believe me...

http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-bask...

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

Okay, to me this sucks. I'm a social liberal, fiscal conservative type. HOWEVER, a core belief is that you make your own decisions about what to do with your life, even if it puts your life in danger. (I also think your choice to live or die is your own, unless you are a murderer or torturer).

I know the university's viewpoint: it is all about liability. That is a sad state of affairs.

Sorry for the harangue on this, it just kinda pisses me off.

1vavolfan writes:

This decision could really come back to haunt the Vols.If this guy goes out and plays the way we anticipated he would before the illness he could really be successful.I hope Tennessee is not clearing him for medical reasons and not because they don't think he can help the team.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

This decision could really come back to haunt the Vols.If this guy goes out and plays the way we anticipated he would before the illness he could really be successful.I hope Tennessee is not clearing him for medical reasons and not because they don't think he can help the team.

There is no way they don't think he can help the team..I am sure it is for the medical reasons. CBP would take all the inside help he can get.

beachvol1 writes:

Way to much liability on the University to let him come back...agree it is a shame for him as he appears to be a class act and one heck of an athlete...he's too young to put his life on the line for basketball....I would hope if he decides to move on and transfer that nobody in college basketball would jepordize this guys health...as far as Selby goes, I would tell him to take a hike, as he told the Vols several months ago...go after Jalen Steele...

Ironcity writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

This decision could really come back to haunt the Vols.If this guy goes out and plays the way we anticipated he would before the illness he could really be successful.I hope Tennessee is not clearing him for medical reasons and not because they don't think he can help the team.

This decision will not haunt the Vols. I
hope Eman does go out and plays great for another school and has great success. UT can take comfort in the fact that if he were at almost any other school he would likely be dead right now. I think everyone at UT hopes he succeeds. I don't think anyone doubts that this is what is best for our school.

jclowers writes:

I agree it is sad, but I think in this situation it may be better safe than sorry. Perhaps if more top doctors see him and clear him then TN might feel better but I just don't think you can take the risk.

I'm very sad from a basketball standpoint also because he was probably the best pure hustler I've seen on the floor for TN possibly ever. He was the only player last year who was willing to get on the ground for loose balls and play his heart out (literally) whenever he was on the floor. A great embassador, perhaps they can talk him into staying on as a student coach or something to keep him around the program.

orangevolz writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

This decision could really come back to haunt the Vols.If this guy goes out and plays the way we anticipated he would before the illness he could really be successful.I hope Tennessee is not clearing him for medical reasons and not because they don't think he can help the team.

Are you really serious? That was the only decision UT could make. It had zero to do with whether he could help the team or not.

ThugTillIDie writes:

I'd take any heart patient over Steven Pearl.

virginiavolfan writes:

Bruce new that if they cleared Negadu than Steven wouldn't get any playing time his senior year. I think that is pretty crappy.

Razor784 writes:

I keep thinking about Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis and I hope this young man reconsiders attempting to play anywhere

newtonrail writes:

in response to Razor784:

I keep thinking about Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis and I hope this young man reconsiders attempting to play anywhere

He's already covered under medical hardship for full scholarship for the rest of his education at UT. This is him desperately trying to get to pros to make big money for his family back home. I can't see the NBA OKing this either. Running up and down the court at full tilt with a Defibrillator type pacemaker is just nuts.

LadyVolsEighTimes writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

It would be neat if he hangs around awhile kinda like Inky Johnson did....

UT did well by Inky, I was at the Air Force game, and it soon became evident that a major injury was at hand.

But this is BS! If the man is cleared then he is cleared!!!!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Negadu would have been an inspiration and leader on this team..If his passion is basketball;so be it.. GET BUSY LIVING OR GET BUSY DYING!!!

tmartin writes:

Life is still good for E-Man. . When you know Marisa Miller, the rest is gravy!

NeylandWest writes:

in response to LadyVolsEighTimes:

UT did well by Inky, I was at the Air Force game, and it soon became evident that a major injury was at hand.

But this is BS! If the man is cleared then he is cleared!!!!

Some doctor in California clears him and you'll take that over the advice of other opinions within the UT Sports & Medicine family that not only saved his life, but took him under their wing and have been treating him ever since. If anyone knows his medical history with this event then I'd say it would be the folks at UT.

Besides, there's no one that wants him playing more than Pearl. He was one of the most athletic guys that Pearl recruited. It's not as if Pearl all of a sudden wants him sidelined.

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

in response to always_vol:

Okay, to me this sucks. I'm a social liberal, fiscal conservative type. HOWEVER, a core belief is that you make your own decisions about what to do with your life, even if it puts your life in danger. (I also think your choice to live or die is your own, unless you are a murderer or torturer).

I know the university's viewpoint: it is all about liability. That is a sad state of affairs.

Sorry for the harangue on this, it just kinda pisses me off.

Are you serious? What's to be mad about?? The decision for Eman to play following cardiac arrest involves more than just Eman saying he's ready. I suppose you can argue your point that we can all put our life in danger if we choose - but not when it involves others. This isn't just the university's decision to not play Eman, it's the right decision. What are you - 12?

givehim6 writes:

in response to mrvol2u:

A sad bit of news. It would have been great for him to be able to play. It is good that he is doing well enough to at least be considered.

He seemed like a very nice young man. Emmanuel take advantage of the education and remember that we Vol fans appreciate you and your resolve.

Yes, the young man is a true Vol! Full scholarship privileges should stay with him.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to orangevolz:

Are you really serious? That was the only decision UT could make. It had zero to do with whether he could help the team or not.

Just saying, he has been cleared by other doctors. Now maybe they are flakes, but maybe not. The fact is none of us know the medical specifics of the case. Maybe it is a liability issue, I don't know. If he goes to another BCS school and kicks tail with no medical issues then that will be hard to swallow. I do hope E-man is successful wherever he goes. Just hate to lose him is all.

bigorange61 writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If Negedu leaves practice, gets behind a wheel of a car, has a heart attack and runs over a few people, his waiver wouldn't mean jack. You think the people hurt wouldn't come after UT?

sticknmove15 writes:

fans are unbelievable.....a kid has a heart problem where he almost dies and people still post on here thinking about his playing time here or other places? are you serious? it sucks that he has this heart condition, not if plays again or who he plays for. sports are cool people, but they aren't everything. if he truly is the great kid and leader everyone speaks about, he will find tons of areas to be successful in. open your eyes! there are bigger things than tennessee sports.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to gbeejr#1354500:

Are you serious? What's to be mad about?? The decision for Eman to play following cardiac arrest involves more than just Eman saying he's ready. I suppose you can argue your point that we can all put our life in danger if we choose - but not when it involves others. This isn't just the university's decision to not play Eman, it's the right decision. What are you - 12?

This is a decision to be made by the player and his doctors to see if he can compete. It's his risk to take. Every single football player takes that elevated risk level in every full-contact drill.

I have no qualms at all about the university saying "you find some legitimate medical professionals to clear you to compete, and you sing the appropriate waivers".

At some point you are responsible for your own life and the decisions you make on how to live it. As a litigious society, we require participants in most activities to waive their rights to sue, to absolve responsibility for outcomes.

Please review the following:
http://www.unc.edu/depts/nccsi/AllSpo...

AS a society, we have determined that it is 'okay' for kids to get killed playing football....177 preventable deaths since 1981. According to you, the RIGHT decision is to eliminate football as a high school sport, even though these young men and their parents are aware fo the risks involved, or, REASONABLY should be aware. Every time a fat, slow kid goes out for the sport, the possibility is elevated for heat-related death, as is the potential for trauma-related death brought on by not being able to react quickly enough to dangerous situations.

As for these:
"Are you serious?"
"What are you - 12"
"This isn't just the university's decision to not play Eman, it's the right decision."

Are you so conceited in your self-righteousness that YOUR opinion supersedes all others because YOU say so?? What's your pedigree? Your IQ? Your education? Your accomplishments??

You come on here and spit out this venom as if you are the end-all, be-all of enlightened thinking. YOU are the judge of "the right decision???".

I've got to be blunt here: you are the kind of sanctimonious pin-pierce that I literally DESPISE.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to sticknmove15:

fans are unbelievable.....a kid has a heart problem where he almost dies and people still post on here thinking about his playing time here or other places? are you serious? it sucks that he has this heart condition, not if plays again or who he plays for. sports are cool people, but they aren't everything. if he truly is the great kid and leader everyone speaks about, he will find tons of areas to be successful in. open your eyes! there are bigger things than tennessee sports.

Some people can only express themselves in literal ways. Virtually all on here who want to see Emmanuel play do so for HIS sake, they just happen to be Vol fans too.

My personal argument is based more upon the desire to see him be allowed to compete if his doctors have established that he is reasonably capable of doing so, and that he is mentally competent to make that decision. At this point, I wouldn't care if it was Marching Band or Water Polo. It's a matter of a man making a decision.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to always_vol:

Some people can only express themselves in literal ways. Virtually all on here who want to see Emmanuel play do so for HIS sake, they just happen to be Vol fans too.

My personal argument is based more upon the desire to see him be allowed to compete if his doctors have established that he is reasonably capable of doing so, and that he is mentally competent to make that decision. At this point, I wouldn't care if it was Marching Band or Water Polo. It's a matter of a man making a decision.

It isn't that simple. I've made this post before when this topic has come up, so here goes again.

If E-man has another incident of cardiac arrest or continued arrythmia of a potential deadly variety, which he WILL HAVE one day (given his diagnosis), his ICD will fire and will save his life. It may only require one blast or it may require many. UT is not afraid of Negedu actually dying as an active member of the basketball program. ICD's save lives.

But what they are afraid of - with justification - is the scene of a UT athlete being filmed at the time he takes one or more defibrillator hits. That's because the hits are very violent and the reaction of the recipient could be grotesque, and it will be very disturbing to both Negedu and witnesses. The film, if it happens in a game or elsewhere where it is filmed, would be shown on TV over and over again, which would hurt UT and all of its athletic programs. UT simply can't afford to take that chance.

It isn't just Emmanuel's call here. It is also UT's reputation and liability that is at stake.

sticknmove15 writes:

in response to always_vol:

Some people can only express themselves in literal ways. Virtually all on here who want to see Emmanuel play do so for HIS sake, they just happen to be Vol fans too.

My personal argument is based more upon the desire to see him be allowed to compete if his doctors have established that he is reasonably capable of doing so, and that he is mentally competent to make that decision. At this point, I wouldn't care if it was Marching Band or Water Polo. It's a matter of a man making a decision.

untamed- i also hate the fact that e can't make his own decision. you make great points, but unfortunately that's the society we have to live in because of lawsuits and things of that nature. the thing that is amazing to me is when people on here can only think, "boy i sure would like to have him inside for depth." or "i would hate to see him get good minutes for another team." you're talking about issues with society and some people can see past what goes on in between the lines. regardless, i just hope for the best for what seems like a good kid.

XLMARGE writes:

Did anyone read the part about him being cleared by two doctors to play? It is his choice to play ball or not if he is healthy enough to play. UT is making a mistake I hope he goes to another SEC school and shows MH why he needs to be replaced.

Munsterlander writes:

in response to always_vol:

Okay, to me this sucks. I'm a social liberal, fiscal conservative type. HOWEVER, a core belief is that you make your own decisions about what to do with your life, even if it puts your life in danger. (I also think your choice to live or die is your own, unless you are a murderer or torturer).

I know the university's viewpoint: it is all about liability. That is a sad state of affairs.

Sorry for the harangue on this, it just kinda pisses me off.

"social liberal, fiscal conservative type"

You do realize that's an impossible combination, don't you?

(Just friendly kidding - I'm NOT trying to start a political rant!!!!)

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Munsterlander:

"social liberal, fiscal conservative type"

You do realize that's an impossible combination, don't you?

(Just friendly kidding - I'm NOT trying to start a political rant!!!!)

sure; I believe in being responsible with your money, of having the OPPORTUNITY to get rich, of ownign up to your debts...I believe in general, private business does the best at creating jobs, while government does the best at looking after people and regulating the society we live in.

but, OTOH, I support social programs such as universal healthcare and social security.

I guess my primary 'liberal' focus goes to this: I don't care one whit about what you do in your private life with CONSENTING ADULTS. Smoke pot, have 10 wives, whatever. You are a big boy (or girl), you make your decisions about life. Same goes for prostitution, hashish, cocaine...they aren't for everyone, but take the criminal element OUT and tax the processes like any other businesses.

A little more than you asked for, eh??

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

It isn't that simple. I've made this post before when this topic has come up, so here goes again.

If E-man has another incident of cardiac arrest or continued arrythmia of a potential deadly variety, which he WILL HAVE one day (given his diagnosis), his ICD will fire and will save his life. It may only require one blast or it may require many. UT is not afraid of Negedu actually dying as an active member of the basketball program. ICD's save lives.

But what they are afraid of - with justification - is the scene of a UT athlete being filmed at the time he takes one or more defibrillator hits. That's because the hits are very violent and the reaction of the recipient could be grotesque, and it will be very disturbing to both Negedu and witnesses. The film, if it happens in a game or elsewhere where it is filmed, would be shown on TV over and over again, which would hurt UT and all of its athletic programs. UT simply can't afford to take that chance.

It isn't just Emmanuel's call here. It is also UT's reputation and liability that is at stake.

I can see your point of view....I know all this is moot, that we have nothing to do with the decision. We'd have to agree to petition, and THEN the university would have to go along with our petition...

and we don't all agree.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to always_vol:

I can see your point of view....I know all this is moot, that we have nothing to do with the decision. We'd have to agree to petition, and THEN the university would have to go along with our petition...

and we don't all agree.

Well, I wouldn't support such a petition. Just because some doctors cleared E-man to play basketball, that doesn't mean its a good idea for him to play for UT. The ONLY reason doctors have cleared him to play is because they know he is protected against cardiac arrest by his ICD. Believe me, if he did not wear an ICD, no doctor would clear him to play basketball at any level for any organization.

misterstuf#210795 writes:

Too bad. Maybe he could change his name and come back as a linebacker

bigorange61 writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was trying to point out that he could waive damage to himself, but not to others. This is a sue happy world we live in. A University with deep pockets would be an attorney's dream.

I feel bad for Negedu, but the University is bigger than one person. Sometimes we need to be protected from ourselves. I don't see another school letting him play either.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

I think E-man should forgo his career ans we'll wish him the best throughout his life and may it be a long and happy one.

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