Negedu on New Mexico: 'My life is getting back to me'

Heart concerns derailed UT career

Tennessee's Emmanuel Negedu motions to the crowd as he joins teammates on the bench before the game against Lincoln Memorial at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009. UT won the exhibition game 97-58.

Tennessee's Emmanuel Negedu motions to the crowd as he joins teammates on the bench before the game against Lincoln Memorial at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009. UT won the exhibition game 97-58.

Former Tennessee men's basketball player Emmanuel Negedu said he signed with New Mexico on Monday.

"I signed this morning,'' Negedu said on the News Sentinel Sports Page radio show. "When everything happened, and they said I couldn't play basketball anymore, I felt like I was dead.

"Now, I feel like my life is getting back to me.''

Negedu, who suffered a cardiac event in the indoor football facility on UT's campus Sept. 28, 2009, wanted to stay and play at Tennessee.

Vols athletic director Mike Hamilton denied the request.

UT men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl said he wishes Negedu well, but he supports the university's position.

"We would prefer he stay here and finish his degree, because we're concerned for his health,'' Pearl said. "We wish him well, but I stand by Tennessee's position as far as not clearing him to play.

"I also understand why Emmanuel wants to continue to play basketball. As I said, we all wish him well.''

Negedu has three years of eligibility remaining and is expected to request an NCAA waiver that would allow him to play immediately.

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Comments » 26

huntined#565710 writes:

Best of luck to you young man we wish you well.

paradisetaxi writes:

We will miss you E! Hope to see you in the NCAA Tourney ! All of Tennessee wishes you the BEST !

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

I got roasted by the zealots on this one....and I don't give a flying squat. E, I fully understand your decision, and wish you the best. I also hope we NEVER play you.

This certainly isn't a simple as 'just basketball'. The man is saying "I am wiling to risk my life for my family, and for what I love doing; life isn't life without my sports".

Many folk do not understand this. If you don't, try to imagine your life without WHATEVER gives you the most pleasure, whether that is sex, religion, good southern food....and know that to some people, it is not about QUANTITY of life, but QUALITY.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

Speaking of Southern food:
any of you lucky enough to have wives, mothers, or grannies who make the following foods, you may wish to look at them as an endangered species:

-fried field corn (creamy style)
-mustard greens, lettuce, and green onions (sopped in hog's jowl grease)
-skillet corn bread
-fried chocolate pies
-fresh-baked homemade chocolate rolls (same style as cinnamon rolls)
-fried okra
-homemade biscuits, the kind with a little lard involved
-country-fried steaks

All the above might have been in ONE MEAL when I was growing up...sure, it'd kill ya by the time you reached 65 or 70, but so what?? Damned good eats. Beats getting rolled around some nursing home and getting left to rot.

EntourageVol writes:

I'd love to see a home and home with New Mexico. We'll give E-Man one last ovation and then of course beat his new team senseless. Good luck, make the lawyers look like fools.

vol88 writes:

untamed, throw in some fried chicken, and I'm coming to your house on Decoration Day!

E, you're taking a risk. Good luck Big Guy!

blazeglory07 writes:

Hope i am wrong but I have a bad feeling about this.

easleychuck writes:

We all know that this one could end well or badly. Kid wanted to play again so eventually someone was going to allow him to take a chance.

The discussion surrounding should he or shouldn't he reminds me of when two sides bring in expert witnesses to argue and make the exact opposite analysis in a legal proceeding. We all understand that those guys are being paid to offer an 'expert' opinion. It still is amazing how many times both are able to make compelling arguments or twist the facts in a way to suit their positions. The doctors who have weighed in on this case would not be attempting to 'win' the argument. Just giving their medical opinions based on their review of the case. That being said, doctors are wrong every day. Fortunately, for all of us, doctors are right much more than they are wrong. We all know what is at stake in this instance. Sure hope the doctors allowing him to play are right in their opinions.

Some speak about how a person should have quality over quantity. How someone should not give up on their dream. We, also, know that there is a slight chance that something bad could happen to EN's heart while he is sleeping. Taking this all into consideration, if he were my child his college basketball days would be behind him. There is so much more to a life than basketball. I played it in college and still love it but I have something young EN does not yet possess....perspective from having lived a life after college basketball. Good luck and much good health in his decision going forward.

Finally, those that are trying to make Mike Hamilton the the 'black hat guy' in this should examine their true motives.

GR82BAVOL writes:

I wish him well too. Emmanuel wants to play, but every time I think about him hitting the floor at NMS, I can't get Hank Gathers out of my head.

Hopefully this will end well and the "event" was a one-time deal.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

rich, you are a good guy.

my intent was only a loose association about life choices.

I enjoyed that food as a kid, miss the hell out of it now.

There is really no place to get it any more.

If anybody eats at 'soul food' places....do they serve this stuff??

cdldoc#211897 writes:

I think there is something wrong with the fact that this kid has to play for someone else. The NCAA cowards should give some cover on this issue. His risk is the same at all schools. At some point the NCAA needs to protect kids from themselves and greedy schools. They need a concensus policy to give all schools an even playing field for issues like this. If he drops dead wice, what then, he goes and plays for UNLV?

orangeman1 writes:

in response to always_vol:

rich, you are a good guy.

my intent was only a loose association about life choices.

I enjoyed that food as a kid, miss the hell out of it now.

There is really no place to get it any more.

If anybody eats at 'soul food' places....do they serve this stuff??

Dont worry. Everyone else knows what you meant. Some posters here just dont comprehend things well. People make choices everyday that might not be the safest choice, but its like asst coach Forbes said. "we cant live our lives like that,in fear"
I hope Negedu and the many Drs that think it ok for him to play are right. I wish Hamilton would have let him play for UT though. If UT's drs denied him clearance to play that would be one thing, but all I keep reading is that the decision was Hamilton's. I would think that if UT dr's denied him clearance then Hamilton wouldve just said that.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

I think there is something wrong with the fact that this kid has to play for someone else. The NCAA cowards should give some cover on this issue. His risk is the same at all schools. At some point the NCAA needs to protect kids from themselves and greedy schools. They need a concensus policy to give all schools an even playing field for issues like this. If he drops dead wice, what then, he goes and plays for UNLV?

You make a good point. His risks are the same no matter where he plays. It appears that the NCAA leaves it up to the school's administrator/atletic dir/coach. I remember controversy around Tebow after his concussion last year. It looks like as long as a dr clears an athlete to play then its up to the coach/AD to make the decision. Maybe the NCAA should have its own dr's or set of rules for athletes with certain conditions. I think the NCAA doesnt want that liablility and thats why they leave it to the AD to make the call.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Good Luck to you, E-man. Follow your dreams.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

You make a good point. His risks are the same no matter where he plays. It appears that the NCAA leaves it up to the school's administrator/atletic dir/coach. I remember controversy around Tebow after his concussion last year. It looks like as long as a dr clears an athlete to play then its up to the coach/AD to make the decision. Maybe the NCAA should have its own dr's or set of rules for athletes with certain conditions. I think the NCAA doesnt want that liablility and thats why they leave it to the AD to make the call.

You are right, it is all about liability and lawyers. But if the NCAA was reasonable like UT they would protect all schools from themselves and from liability by saying the reasonable thing, "he can't play." Not much liability in that and he won't drop dead playing at some school. We don't lose him as a player to someone else who is less worried about his health and their liability.

The NCAA is mostly useless. You can't criticize the refs, but you can let a player jeopardize his health.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

You are right, it is all about liability and lawyers. But if the NCAA was reasonable like UT they would protect all schools from themselves and from liability by saying the reasonable thing, "he can't play." Not much liability in that and he won't drop dead playing at some school. We don't lose him as a player to someone else who is less worried about his health and their liability.

The NCAA is mostly useless. You can't criticize the refs, but you can let a player jeopardize his health.

I dont really care for the "protecting them from themselves". Its not like N Mexico is exploiting Negedu. Basketball is his life, his dream. They are actually helping him realize his dream. Sure, they will benefit too, but they are also taking a risk. Life is about risk and reward. Maybe the NCAA could have a list of approved Drs that could be consulted, but in Negedu's case all the drs that I've read about have cleared him. Indiana's drs cleared him, but they didnt want to take the liablility/negative PR if he collapsed again. N Mexico's did too, and they thought the risk was worth it. So does Negedu. As long as he is making an informed decision based on what the Dr's have told him, I dont see the problem with him playing.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

Here is an interesting story on E.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns...

orangeman1 writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

Here is an interesting story on E.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns...

Great article and read. It actually gives all the info we've been speculating about. It seems that many GOOD drs think he will physically be ok to play basketball. UT drs are just worried more about contact in basketball because of the ID. Thanks osby for the link. I still wish he would be playing at UT since he's going to play anyway.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to orangeman1:

I dont really care for the "protecting them from themselves". Its not like N Mexico is exploiting Negedu. Basketball is his life, his dream. They are actually helping him realize his dream. Sure, they will benefit too, but they are also taking a risk. Life is about risk and reward. Maybe the NCAA could have a list of approved Drs that could be consulted, but in Negedu's case all the drs that I've read about have cleared him. Indiana's drs cleared him, but they didnt want to take the liablility/negative PR if he collapsed again. N Mexico's did too, and they thought the risk was worth it. So does Negedu. As long as he is making an informed decision based on what the Dr's have told him, I dont see the problem with him playing.

...and things like this don't really belong in NCAA hands. This is certainly an individual decision between the player and the university. I liken it to academic standards: while the NCAA may have a minimum standard, universities are free to go ABOVE that standard.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"There is a group that doesn't see the scientific evidence to prevent them from playing,'' Bresee said.

Klenck isn't among them.

"We did not clear him on the fact that he had a cardiac arrest and required an ICD, under the guidelines,'' he said. "I didn't feel it was a risk worth taking.''

The above is an excerpt from the story I linked previously. If I read that correctly UT's did not clear him.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Doctor,Bresee, that treated Negedu at UT after the incident also said

"you can see why people would say why take that chance. But people choose to climb Mount Everest and choose to race Formula One cars. We've decided if a patient wants to participate, they can if they know the risks."
Bresee went on to say
"There is a group that doesn't see the scientific evidence to prevent them from playing,''
Klenck is the head physician at UT mens athletic dept. He is the one who called other drs to gauge public opinion. It sounds like the heart dr Bresee gave him the ok , but Klenck is the one that didnt clear him. Either way, I have only been trying to say this whole time that UT giving him a chance to play wasnt idiotic like some have made it out. Reputable dr's do think its ok for him to play and so do other schools. But people still wanted to argue that the drs were quacks and Negedu shouldnt play. I dont think anyone is wrong for not wanting him to play at UT. I've said before that Hamilton did what he thinks was best for the university. I just dont think I'm wrong for believing the drs that have cleared him and that I wish Hamilton would've let him play at UT. I just hope Negedu proves he made the right decision.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

The Doctor,Bresee, that treated Negedu at UT after the incident also said

"you can see why people would say why take that chance. But people choose to climb Mount Everest and choose to race Formula One cars. We've decided if a patient wants to participate, they can if they know the risks."
Bresee went on to say
"There is a group that doesn't see the scientific evidence to prevent them from playing,''
Klenck is the head physician at UT mens athletic dept. He is the one who called other drs to gauge public opinion. It sounds like the heart dr Bresee gave him the ok , but Klenck is the one that didnt clear him. Either way, I have only been trying to say this whole time that UT giving him a chance to play wasnt idiotic like some have made it out. Reputable dr's do think its ok for him to play and so do other schools. But people still wanted to argue that the drs were quacks and Negedu shouldnt play. I dont think anyone is wrong for not wanting him to play at UT. I've said before that Hamilton did what he thinks was best for the university. I just dont think I'm wrong for believing the drs that have cleared him and that I wish Hamilton would've let him play at UT. I just hope Negedu proves he made the right decision.

"You can't blame them for following the national guidelines,'' Bresee said of the Tennessee camp, which is led by Dr. Chris Klenck, the lead physician of the UT men's athletic department.

That is all true but the only Dr. that mattered didn't clear him to play at UT plain and simple. Was his decision right or wrong? Who knows..

orangeman1 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Obviously I knew all Drs wouldnt clear him, but you acted like the Drs that did clear him were quacks, and so was anyone who wanted him to play because . It turned out that the Drs he saw were reputable and you were wrong yet you call me an idiot. LOL. UT (Klenck)didnt take the side of the cardiologist that cleared him. Hamilton chose to not let him play, and I wish he wouldve chose to let him play, so did Negedu. If that makes me or anyone else who wouldve liked to seen Negedu back for the Vols an idiot than so be it.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

"You can't blame them for following the national guidelines,'' Bresee said of the Tennessee camp, which is led by Dr. Chris Klenck, the lead physician of the UT men's athletic department.

That is all true but the only Dr. that mattered didn't clear him to play at UT plain and simple. Was his decision right or wrong? Who knows..

Totally agree. Who knows. Only time will tell. We all just have opinions, but some like to think their's is the only right one.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The article says "noted" Dr in California. You implied over and over that the drs that cleared him were quacks. You did say that, so dont try to back out now. You were wrong. There is nothing I dont understand after reading that article. Maybe you should read it again. How the UT cardio dr. said what he did and the Athletic dept dr is the one who called around to get opinions. Just accept that these other cardio dr's arent quacks like you led everyonet to believe and that because people believe them and want Negedu to play they are wrong. I already said that I understand your opinion, but you are the one too stubborn to understand any other.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here is one of your quotes about the quacks that cleared him. I could give you more.

"The MAJORITY of docs could spot a fatal case of cancer, unfortunately my buddy went to a fu##ing quack who swore he was cleared of it. These are the type of docs who will clear E-Man, why can't you get that through your thick azz skull. He was refused by reputible docs and continued until some f-ing quack, maybe 2 or 3 said he could play."
I think you are letting your personal experience get in the way of what are the facts in this case. Here is another of your quotes

"But he also did what's best for E-Man as well. Beat your drum all you want, but a 20yr old doesn't know his azz from a hole in the ground. They may think they do, but they don't."

This attitude, that you know what's best for Negedu and anyone who thinks differently is an idiot is what I've been arguing about. All the fans that want him to play at UT, all the cardio specialists, and Negedu are all wrong according to you. The althletic dept dr and Hamilton and Pearl decided letting him play isnt worth the risk to UT. Some, like me, dont like the decision. That doesnt make me any more right or wrong than those that support Hamiltons decision.
This issue is over as far as I'm concerned. I just wish GOVOLSXTRA would actually cover a story like its supposed to be so we would have all the info from the beginning, but apparantly ESPN does a better job covering UT than UT sports writers for this paper.

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