Johnson Medically Disqualified

ATHENS-------University of Georgia freshman defensive back Rico Johnson of Swainsboro, Georgia, has been medically disqualified from football according to an announcement by UGA head coach Mark Richt.

Johnson experienced some neurological symptoms during practice on Wednesday and a medical evaluation discovered a neurological condition. With this condition, contact sports such as football are not considered safe due to the risk for permanent spinal cord injury.

"While we are very disappointed for Rico from a football standpoint, we feel extremely fortunate that he is healthy and that we were able to diagnose his condition and protect him from a possible catastrophic injury,² said Ron Courson, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine. ³Although he cannot continue his football career, he should be able to have a normal life.²

³I¹m thankful we caught this condition when we did,² said UGA head coach Mark Richt. ³Now we can help Rico transition to life after football. He will stay on scholarship through his graduation and we will assist him in finding employment through the P.O. (Paul Oliver) Network!²

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