Colleges to Be Urged to Test Athletes for Sickle Cell

June 29, 2009

Colleges will soon be urged by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to test athletes for the sickle cell trait -- and eventually the colleges may be required to do so. That's because of the settlement of a lawsuit against Rice University and the NCAA by the family of a football player who died during a workout and whose sickle cell trait was linked to the death, the Associated Press reported. At the time of his death, Rice (like many universities) did not test for the trait. Most terms of the settlement are confidential, the AP said. But parties are going public about the sickle cell testing. The NCAA said that it couldn't agree to force colleges to do the testing because such a requirement would have to be proposed and adopted by a membership vote. But the NCAA agreed to recommend the testing, and Rice agreed to sponsor a proposal that the NCAA require such testing.

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