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Southern Miss. Sued by Athlete with One Kidney

Andy Berg

The University of Southern Mississippi is facing a lawsuit after it banned a student-athlete from playing football because he was born with one kidney.

Deven Hammond, 20, alleges USM is in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws. Hammond claims USM officials only raised liability concerns after he told them about his condition.

According to a report from Fox Sports, Hammond, now a student at Louisiana State University, said that he never experienced any kidney problems during football activities at the high school or college levels.

Hammond’s offer to sign a liability waiver did little to persuade officials at USM. The suit, filed in the Middle District of Louisiana, argues that, “protecting the USM’s Athletic Program – not Deven’s health – was the guiding star,” of USM’s decisions.

Hammond’s kidney specialist told the university that the risks of a kidney injury from football are “incredibly slim.”

Dan Disch, a member of USM’s coaching staff, recruited Hammond and is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The suit claims that the Disch promised Hammond a full scholarship if he made the team as a second-stringer or better after one semester.

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