Former CofC Women's Basketball player sues school
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Zoe Wallis, who played basketball at the College of Charleston during the 2014-15 season, filed a lawsuit against the school on Wednesday claiming she was a victim of gross negligence by head coach Candice Jackson and her staff and breach of contract after the school pulled her scholarship when she quit the team due to health issues.
The suit claims that Wallis, a center from Missouri, suffered serious organ damage including damage to her liver and kidney during an incident in August of 2014.
That day, the team was required to do a 5-mile run across the Ravenel Bridge but Wallis suffered extreme heat stroke and fell unconscious, lawyers state.
According to the suit, despite the fact that Wallis collapsed during the run and told the coaches that she needed to stop, court documents state Jackson yelled that Wallis was weak and she should crawl to the finish line.
When she didn't respond, Jackson had other players carry Wallis over the finish line, the lawsuit states.
She was later taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with severe metabolic acidosis, acute renal failure, and electrolyte abnormalities. She was admitted into intensive care and kept in the hospital for two days.
After playing in 19 games during her Freshman season in which she averaged 4.5 minutes per game, 0.8 points per game and 0.5 rebounds per game, Wallis withdrew from the team due to the mental and physical effects of the incident from August 2014 according to the complaint. A month later, she was informed by the school that her scholarship was not being renewed which is an NCAA violation, lawyers state.
Wallis is seeking damages from the College of Charleston as well as full admission back into the school with full grant-in aid until she graduates.
"I really miss my Charleston family and I wake up each day wishing I was still at the College and able to play basketball again." Wallis said in a statement. "I paid a very heavy price to be a part of CofC's Women's Basketball Team and the Coach's actions took away my basketball but she shouldn't be able to take away my education."
Wallis' attorney, W. Mullins McLeod of Charleston said "Zoe is determined to stand up for herself and other student athletes. I hope this lawsuit enables her to return to the College of Charleston and bring reform to the Women's basketball program at the College."
The College of Charleston and the Cougars Athletic department had no comment.
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