Randy Russell’s career ends before it can begin

Just three days after enrolling at the University of Florida to begin college Randy Russell learned he will just be a student, not a student-athlete.

On Thursday Florida announced that Russell’s physical revealed a cardiac issue that will prevent him from being cleared by Florida’s medical staff to play sports.

“During the course of the UAA’s incoming pre-participation physical, the Gators’ medical staff discovered an abnormality in Randy Russell’s cardiac workup. Unfortunately, this condition will prohibit him from participating in athletics,” Florida senior associate athletic director Steve McClain said in a statement.

Dan Mullen also released this statement regarding Russell, who committed to Jim McElwain but stuck with Florida’s class and enrolled early.

“As tragic as this is for Randy and his family to hear this news, this discovery is life-saving for him,” Mullen said. “We will be fully supportive in any way we can for Randy and his family. He will continue to be a part of the Gator football family and we will assist him in his academic pursuits at the University of Florida.”

At this time it is unclear what is next for Russell — if his scholarship will be honored or if he will choose to stay at Florida. He could sign a medical exemption. This would allow Florida to honor Russell’s scholarship without having him count against the scholarship total. It would end his NCAA playing career completely though. James Robinson just went through this when it was determined that he, like Russell, had a cardiac issue that would prevent him from playing football.

Here is a statement from Russell:

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC