2016 News Releases

Texas Woman’s University update on student-athletes diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis

During a media briefing today (Aug. 26, 2016), Texas Woman’s University officials provided an update about the recent hospitalization of eight of its student-athletes.

After receiving permission from the student-athletes, the university confirmed that eight members of its volleyball team were admitted to the hospital during the weekend of Aug. 20 and diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis.

The 18 members of the volleyball team began their pre-season Aug. 15. Officials said: What was different this year was that individual fitness testing was spread out over the first week instead of on the first day that the team reported.  The same exercises were used in this year’s tests as in previous years. 

  • Another difference was that the student-athletes were given a number of reps to complete within a time frame, as opposed to previous years when they had a time limit to complete as many reps as possible.  The reasons for the change were to give the student-athlete a different goal to reach, and for all of them to have the same test.
  • During pre-season volleyball workouts, the team spends a lot of time focusing on technique by repetition.
  • Two-a-days were held on Aug. 15, 16, 18 and 19.  Two-a-days consisted of fitness testing, conditioning or a weights session followed by a pool stretch in the morning.  The team then had a NCAA mandatory three-hour recovery period before volleyball practice in the late afternoon.
  • The team had a light scrimmage at NCTC on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
  • The fitness testing that was done on Thursday morning Aug. 18 was the third and last in the week. 
  • The team had morning practice on Saturday, Aug. 20 and a scheduled day off on Sunday, Aug. 21.

One player went to a local hospital on Saturday, Aug. 20 and seven went to the hospital on Sunday, Aug. 21. One of these players chose to go to a hometown hospital.

“Although the investigation remains underway, Texas Woman’s University’s initial belief is that overexertion coupled with dehydration during practices last week caused these student-athletes to experience rhabdomyolysis,” said Monica Mendez-Grant, vice president for student life.

The university expects a full detailed report on the investigation to be ready within 90 days.

Texas Woman’s has added rhabdo education to its annual student-athlete orientations and staff professional development.

The university’s team physician Dr. Michael Auvenshine, who specializes in sports medicine with USMD Medical Clinic of North Texas, will work with Texas Woman’s athletic training staff to determine each individual’s risk for recurrence.  Dr. Auvenshine and university staff will continue to evaluate the affected student-athletes and take a progressive stepped approach to the players return physical activity and determine any restrictions before they are approved to practice or play.

The university plans to launch its volleyball season as planned on Sept. 2 with a tournament hosted on its Denton campus.

 ###

Media Contact