ESPN Reports on Rampant Medical Malpractice on IU Athletes
A new in-depth report on ESPN’s website exposes the ugly side of college athletes. The report is an "Outside the Lines feature" televised on ESPN. The report details how some injured Indiana University athletes received substandard medical care, isolated from their team, and shamed for their injuries.
Kaitlin Beck, a former rower for the Hoosiers, injured her back during her freshman year in Bloomington. Beck saw three school-approved doctors in the span of a year, with each doctor giving a different diagnoses. The first doctor prescribed some light physical therapy, the second diagnosed her with spinal fractures which required a back brace, and the third doctor diagnosed Beck as having hamstring issues. Her coaches appeared to doubt her injuries. Beck and other injured rowers were isolated from teammates and denied team gear for not meeting practice goals.
After nearly 15 months of pain, Beck made an appointment with an Indianapolis spine specialist. The spine specialist was not affiliated with IU. The specialist told Beck she shouldn't be rowing (at all) and that she was seriously injured. The specialist also told Beck that the IU doctors had missed significant and obvious signs of injury. Beck filed a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance, a state agency unconnected to the university. Beck is currently pursuing a medical malpractice case against all three IU "team" doctors.
How Indiana University has treated athletes' injuries drew national attention in December of 2016, when IU fired head football coach Kevin Wilson. Wilson faced accusations that he had belittled and berated his injured players. Wilson had been warned against such behavior by IU athletic director Fred Glass. But "Outside the Lines" found that the culture surrounding injuries that led to Wilson's resignation has existed elsewhere in the athletic department and medical staff. Multiple athletes interviewed by Outside the Lines describe a pattern of failures, delays and neglect by Indiana's coaches, doctors and athletic trainers.