The Armond Armstead Case

Harry How

You may have heard a few weeks back that Brian Ross from ABC News was thrown out of practice at USC. Some thought it was about the McNair lawsuit against the NCAA.

Well, that would be wrong.

Ross was there to ask some questions about Armond Armstead and his lawsuit against USC.

Controversy surrounding the drug has grown this year following claims by former USC lineman Armond Armstead that he suffered a heart attack after the 2010 season, at age 20, following shots of generic Toradol administered over the course of the season by the team doctor and USC personnel.

"I thought, you know, can't be me, you know? This doesn't happen to kids like me," Armstead told ABC News.

The manufacturers' warning label for generic Toradol (ketorolac tromethamine) says the drug is not intended for prolonged periods or for chronic pain and cites gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney failure as possible side effects of the drug.

In addition, like other drugs in its class, the generic Toradol label warns "may cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and stroke, which can be fatal."

I am not touching this.

This is an active legal matter so I won't discuss the issues with the case.

But you have to love the sensationalism of the piece.

ABC forwarded a questionnaire to the top 25 and asked them to answer two simple questions...

Notre Dame

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"We will decline to participate in your survey."

Alabama

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Ohio State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? No. Ohio State said it has "never used Toradol prophylactically to treat gameday pain."

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Yes.

Florida

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Oregon

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Georgia

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? No.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Yes.

Kansas State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Stanford

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"Thank you for your inquiry. We will respectively pass on participating in this report."

LSU

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Texas A&M

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Yes.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Yes.

South Carolina

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"Our medical staff declined to participate."

Oklahoma

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? The school said it stopped using the painkillers in 2012 after using them repeatedly in 2010 and 2011.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? "Yes, the physicians of record track medications issued to patients who are student-athletes."

Florida State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Clemson

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Yes.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Yes.

Oregon State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? No.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Yes.

Northern Illinois

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

UCLA

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"Thank you for writing and inquiring, but UCLA is going to respectfully decline comment on this matter."

Michigan

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"Thank you for your email and your interest in our medical practices. This is private medical information regarding our student-athletes and we do not wish to share it publicly."

Boise State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? No.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Yes.

Northwestern

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"We will politely decline. Thanks for your understanding."

Louisville

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Declined to comment.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Declined to comment.

"Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your study, but we do not discuss the medical histories of our student-athletes."

Nebraska

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? "The use of injectable ketorolac is a consideration when three criteria are met: 1. The athlete is receiving treatment for an injury. 2. The medication is prescribed by the treating physician. 3. The student-athlete consents to use of the medication. While team physicians reserve the option to use injectable Toradol (ketorolac), it is rarely prescribed, and its use had been avoided this season following recent reports of heightened concern of possible adverse effects. "

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? "We follow federal and state prescribing rules, and the athletic trainers monitor the athlete's pain management during rehab. We treat the student-athletes like any adult in the community needing medication for an acute injury."

San Jose State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Yes.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? No.

"Yes, we are using it, only selectively and only on game days. ... We don't keep team medication reports."

Kent State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

Utah State

Does Your Football Program Use Toradol or Ketorolac? Did not respond.

Do You Track Prescription Painkiller Use by Athletes? Did not respond.

I am sure a lot of schools use Toradol, not just the Top 25.

Armstead's situation is sad, and I am sure there are some legitimate questions about how the drug was prescribed and administered, but I think this situation hurts the NCAA more than it does USC. The legal fight will play out but the focus is once again on the NCAA.

The NCAA is supposed to be about the student athlete...this could be one more example of that not necessarily being the case.

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