The University of Minnesota announced on Monday that incoming freshman Jarvis Johnson from De La Salle High School in Minneapolis will not compete for the Gopher Basketball team after being unable to be medically cleared.
As Amelia Rayno of the Star Tribune recapped in her profile of Johnson in March, in December of 2010 Johnson collapsed on the court and was rushed to Children's Hospital. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — a heart disease that can cause sudden death. Johnson was in a medically induced coma for a few days, and would eventually wake up. He had had surgery to implant a defibrillator into his chest, to administer shocks in case his heart quit on him again. There were medical questions about Johnson after the incident--from Rayno's article:
It’s probably safer to play with an ICD than we previously thought," said Dr. Chris Carter, Jarvis’ primary doctor since his hospital stay. "That being said, our recommendations are generally not to play. And that’s the conversation we had with Jarvis.
"An ICD is a safety net. That safety net doesn’t always work, but it does the majority of the time. We went over all those things, and it was important enough to him that he wanted to continue to play."
While Johnson has never needed the implanted defibrillator, apparently the University has determined the risk remains too great to allow him to play, and we will not be cleared for intercollegiate participation. The Johnson family issued a statement saying that Johnson will accept his scholarship to the U, and will remain involved with the program. Richard Pitino also issued a statement echoing the same--Johnson will accept his scholarship and will have a role in the program going forward. The statement is below:
As for what this means to the Gopher program, they will get another scholarship back to use for the 2016 class. Johnson will get a medical hardship waiver, and while he will remain on scholarship at the U, he will not count against the team's allotment. Thus, there is an opening for another point guard in the class of 2016, and the Gophers have been recruiting several eastern guards very hard in the recent weeks, probably having knowledge that this was going to occur. I will leave the more recruiting intensive aspect to GopherNation in the coming days.
This means you will see even more of Kevin Dorsey and Dupree McBrayer next season in the backcourt as they will team with Nate Mason to most likely play a majority of the minutes.
We here at The Daily Gopher wish Jarvis well as he moved onto a new phase of his collegiate life, and hope that he can make in impact behind the scenes to help the Gophers improve off the court, since he will be unable to do so on the court.