Former Notre Dame linebacker Doug Randolph alleges he was not fully informed of the results of a spinal scan while he was playing for the school.
Randolph medically retired from football in the spring of 2016 after he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. In a suit that names Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly as defendants, Randolph says he was not given the results of an MRI after he suffered numbness in his “upper extremities” following a hit in practice in the early part of the 2015 season.
Per the Indianapolis Star, Randolph was told he could continue playing and said his symptoms got worse as the season went on even to the point where he suffered numbness in his arms and legs during Notre Dame’s Fiesta Bowl game vs. Ohio State. He said he informed trainer Rob Hunt of his symptoms and was told to get back in the game.
“If he had been told the truth about the results of this MRI scan, his football career would have ended on that date and all subsequent injuries and permanent damage he has endured would have never occurred,” the lawsuit says.
At one point, Randolph said he was in so much distress that a team doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory steroid for “muscle strain” in his neck. But he said he experienced side effects such as “irritability, difficulty focusing, and difficulty sleeping, as well as extreme bouts of aggressive behavior, which ultimately forced him to discontinue the use of the painkiller” in October 2015.
A spokesperson for Notre Dame said the school hadn’t seen the lawsuit. Randolph also alleges that he has permanent nerve damage and is seeking unspecified damages.
Randolph had five tackles during the 2015 season. He would have been a senior in 2016 had he been able to continue playing football and instead served as a student assistant. He told the South Bend Tribune in an interview this spring that he wasn’t surprised when he found out he couldn’t play football any longer.
“When I went to the doctors appointment and they all told me I couldn’t play anymore, I honestly wasn’t sad,” Randolph said. “I had a suspicion going into it, because I could just tell something was very off. But this didn’t change my path at all. All along I had used football as a vehicle to achieve the most that I could.”
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