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NCAA seeks sickle cell test

6/17/2011 - College Football

INDIANAPOLIS -- An NCAA committee is recommending that athletes in Divisions II and III be tested for sickle cell trait as part of a required medical exam.

If approved at the 2012 national convention, athletes would have to take a test, provide proof they've already taken a test or sign a waiver to opt out. Division I passed a similar measure earlier this year.

The hereditary condition is considered an extra risk for athletes, particularly during intense workouts.

Central Florida football player Ereck Plancher died after a preseason practice in March 2008. His parents have sued the school's athletic association alleging he died of complications from sickle cell trait, not an undetected heart problem as the school says.