A former USC football player is suing the university, claiming that mandatory injections led him to have a heart attack.
Armond Armstead, a 22-year-old defensive lineman, filed a suit Thursday alleging that painkillers caused a heart attack, which ruined his chances of playing in the NFL. While the lawsuit does not disclose a financial settlement amount, he may request an NFL player's multi-million-dollar salary, the Daily Trojan reports.
The suit alleges that Armstead was injected 10 times over a period of a few weeks during the 2010 season, sometimes twice a day, with anti-inflammatory drug Toradol and other anti-inflammatory drugs "in a quantity and frequency that exceeded maximum dosage guidelines, recommendations and restrictions," USA Today reports. Roger A. Dreyer, Armstead's lawyer, said "these injections were mandatory. This is not something where Armond said, 'I want an injection,'" the Los Angeles Times reports.
During the winter of 2011, the 6'5" 295-pound player went to USC's health center complaining of chest pains and was injected twice with Toradol, according to the lawsuit. In March 2011, he was hospitalized after physicians at USC University Hospital determined he had suffered a heart attack, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.
Dreyer commented that there's something wrong when "a 20-year-old kid, beyond fit, a world-class athlete… has a heart attack because of something USC administered," the Sacramento Bee reports.
"The parents, when their sons are being recruited, are told, 'trust us, we'll take care of your kid.' In this case, he was given shots not to help him, but to get him back on the field," he continued.
The suit names the university, an unnamed pharmaceutical company, football team physician Dr. James Tibone and the University Park Health Center as defendants.
Armstead was allegedly never warned of the side effects, even though the medication's packaging warns of risk of heart attack and stroke. The suit also alleges that USC officials concealed the Toradol injections from other physicians.
After his heart attack, he was forced to sit out of the 2011 season because the school did not clear him to play, which Dreyer said had a "devastating" effect on the player's career goals.
After missing the 2011 season, Armstead hired an agent and contemplated transferringbut USC would not let him participate in spring pro day on campus, the Orange County Register reports.
Dreyer said this case is not an isolated one and that it reflects a larger problem of painkillers in college sports. "Something bad happened here, and it gives a voice to a lot of kids who I think will come out of the woodwork across the country for misuse," he told the Bee.
USC issued a statement saying it was "inappropriate at this time" for the university to comment on the suit.
Earlier on HuffPost:
POINT SHAVING AT CCNY, 1947-51
The City College of New York men's basketball team won both the National Invitation Tournament and the national championship in 1950. Then a point-shaving scandal that spanned 86 games dating to 1947 was discovered. Thirty-two players from seven schools were arrested. CCNY turned from powerhouse to trivia answer. Players from Kentucky were also involved, but the Wildcats program survived to remain a powerhouse.
SMU GETS THE DEATH PENALTY, 1986
Southern Methodist boosters funneled thousands of dollars to football players through a slush fund that was administered by school officials, including former Texas governor Bill Clements. The NCAA gave the program the "death penalty" - forcing it to the sidelines for the entire 1987 season - and the Mustangs have never regained their national stature.
THE BC THREE, BOSTON COLLEGE, 1978-79
BC basketball players Rick Kuhn, Joe Streater and Jim Sweeney were persuaded to fix nine Eagles games during the season. Kuhn and two money men were handed 10 years each in prison.
HOT ROD, TULANE, 1980s
Star forward John "Hot Rod" Williams was accused of accepting more than $8,000 to shave points in several games. He was later acquitted, but the school dropped the team until 1989.
THE FAB FIVE and ED MARTIN, MICHIGAN, EARLY 1990s
Several players, including star forward Chris Webber, were paid by a booster and factory worker, Martin, from his gambling operations. All records, including two Final Fours, featuring the so-called Fab Five recruiting class, were vacated, Michigan was put on two years of NCAA probation and head coach Steve Fisher lost his job.
ACADEMIC FRAUD, MINNESOTA, 1990s
Clem Haskins' tenure with the Golden Gophers was brought down by a widespread academic fraud. Former manager Jan Gangelhoff claimed she had written papers for at least 20 players. Minnesota's records were vacated and the program was docked five scholarships. Haskins, the AD and several other officials lost their jobs.
GEORGIA ACADEMIC SCANDAL, 2002
Georgia head coach Jim Harrick and his son, Jim Jr., provided high grades to players in classes they never or seldom attended and paid players' expenses. The elder Harrick, who led the Bulldogs to NCAA tournament appearances in 2001 and 2002, resigned and his son was fired.
MURDER IN TEXAS, BAYLOR, 2003
Bears basketball transfer Patrick Dennehy was slain by teammate Carlton Dotson. Coach Dave Bliss instructed his players to lie to the NCAA by telling investigators that Dennehy was dealing drugs. Dotson pleaded guilty to murder, Bliss was fired and Baylor self-imposed penalties of a one-year postseason ban and a loss of scholarships.
NO MORE HEISMAN, USC, 2005
Reggie Bush, winner of the 2005 Heisman, was stripped of the award after it was revealed that his parents were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by an agent. Southern California coach Pete Carroll left for the NFL, but the Trojans were stripped of 30 scholarships and given a two-year postseason ban.
TATTOO U, OHIO STATE, 2010
Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel admitted that he knew several of his star players were trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos in violation of NCAA rules, but sat on that information for 10 months until after the players participated in a 12-1 season that resulted in a Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas. Tressel was forced to resign, Ohio State vacated the 2010 season and was hit with NCAA probation and a loss of scholarships.
THE BOOSTER, MIAMI, 2011
A total of 73 Hurricanes football players have been implicated in the latest scandal to hit the Miami program. A booster, Nevin Shapiro, subsequently jailed for running a pyramid scheme, allegedly dispensed money, prostitutes, cars and vacations to the players. Shapiro said coaches and university officials knew of his gifts. The case is pending before the NCAA.
BOBBY PETRINO, ARKANSAS, 2012
Petrino, the Arkansas coach, initially said he was riding alone when he was injured in a motorcycle accident. It was subsequently learned that Jessica Dorrell, a former Razorbacks volleyball player, was with Petrino and had had an extramarital affair with him. Petrino had paid Dorrell $20,000 and set her up with a job in the athletic department. Petrino was fired.