Two years ago, Towson University football player Gavin Class almost died in practice. Now, he wants back on the team.
In 2013, Class collapsed during a pre-season practice. His temperature was an astonishing 108 degrees–a temperature which tends to cause the body to shut down. In Class’s case, that’s exactly what happened. His heart stopped beating, and his liver failed. It took more than a dozen surgeries, including a liver transplant, to repair the damage from his heatstroke.
Throughout the ordeal, Class hoped to play for the Towson Tigers again. While Class’s coaches and team members were supportive throughout his recovery, school administrators were leery of putting him back on the field. “Towson University’s decision in this case was based on our team physician’s professional judgment that Mr. Class cannot play contact football without endangering his life,” a university spokesman told the Sun.
Class, whose doctors had cleared him to play again, turned to the courts in a last-ditch attempt to get back on the team as a senior.“You have to be persistent, have to be determined and you have to have a goal,” he told the Towson Towerlight. “You can’t fall off the track. No matter what comes to you, just keep moving forward.” But last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the university’s decision to keep Class off the team. But the story might still have another chapter:”It’s not like devastating news, because there are still actions we can take,” Class told the Sun. “I want to win this case, whether I get to play again or not. Because somewhere down the road, this could happen to another player.”
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