Douglas Randolph was a four-star recruit at linebacker who had the opportunity to live out his dream and play for Notre Dame. Unfortunately for Randolph, that dream turned into a waking nightmare.
Randolph is suing both Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly, alleging that the results of a spinal scan were hidden from him. He claims he should not have been allowed to play any longer after taking a hit that caused him to lose feeling in his extremities. Notre Dame says it has yet to be served with the lawsuit.
Randolph claims that he took a hit during practice in September of 2015 and “suffered numbness in his upper extremities.” According to the lawsuit, he informed trainer Rob Hunt of his symptoms, and Hunt dismissed his concerns. He was out of practice for just two minutes.
Later, when Randolph’s symptoms continued every time he took a hit, he underwent an MRI. The results of that scan were never given to him, and he claims the symptoms worsened as he continued to practice and play during the season.
The lawsuit claims the following:
“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.”
Randolph was eventually prescribed an anti-inflammatory steroid that had serious side effects which caused him to discontinue its use.
Here is one of the most damming passages of the story on Randolph:
During the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016, Randolph alleges that he “suffered complete numbness in all four extremities.” He informed Hunt, who told him to “continue playing” and “get back in the game,” according to the complaint. Randolph recorded one tackle in a 44-28 loss.
A player reports numbness in all his extremities and you tell him to get back in the game?
Later, Randolph underwent another MRI and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which ended his playing career. A third opinion from a doctor not affiliated with Notre Dame revealed that he suffered “possibly, if not probably, permanent nerve damage in his neck that had occurred as a result of continuing to play college football” after the first injury.
Notre Dame doctors refused to clear him to continue to play in mid-February of 2016.
Randolph’s suit claims that since the 2015 season he has suffered “sometimes incapacitating pain, constant muscle strain, daily headaches and difficulty focusing, as well as continued numbness, tingling sensations throughout his upper and lower extremities and difficulty with muscle control.”
So basically Randolph is living his own personal hell and Notre Dame’s doctors may have contributed to it by not stopping his playing career.
It will be interesting to see how the school responds to this lawsuit.