Iowa's infamous January workout that hospitalized thirteen Hawkeye football players already cost them one player of the future in blue-chip recruit Cyrus Kouandjio. As of late Tuesday night, it appears at least one present player is out the door as well: Rising senior defensive back Willie Lowe, who was stricken with rhabdomyolysis along with a dozen teammates, has requested his release from the program. To hear the way he's talking to Joe Schad, it sounds like we might not see Lowe on the field this season at all:
I would like to be able to sit out a year, regain my strength, feel fine and play again. But I don't know. I am still down 20 pounds and I am having headaches every few days. [...] Only a few players are back to full speed that I know of.
It's grim news for a program that seems as eager to move past the incident as it was to gloss over the problem in the first place altogether. The school has cleared the hospitalized players for spring practice, but if Lowe is still this far from full strength, who else might be ailing under the radar? SB Nation's Black Heart Gold Pants has a bad feeling about whatever news comes next:
Lowe's case may be unique; as a senior, if he felt he needed a year off to recover despite being medically cleared to play, he would either have to talk the coaches into giving him a redshirt (in a year where Iowa will be breaking in two safeties) and likely lose his chance to start in 2012, or transfer and spend his year recouperating. And as bad as the Lowe transfer is for the secondary, his comment that "only a few players are back to full speed" is even worse for the program.
Visit BHGP for more on the "rhabdo thirteen" and other Iowa Hawkeyes athletics news.