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Concordia basketball coach to keep job after being sidelined following hospitalization of 5 players

Concordia University won't fire basketball coach over hospitalization of several players
Concordia University won't fire basketball coach over hospitalization of several players 00:36

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (CBS) -- The basketball coach at Concordia University Chicago will be staying and will return to coaching in the weeks ahead, following an investigation after five college basketball players were hospitalized following a workout.

CBS 2 first broke the story of the controversy at Concordia on Friday of last week.

In a letter to parents, students, coaches, and training staff, Concordia Director of Athletics Pete Gnan wrote that all six players who were hospitalized due to rhabdomyolysis – a condition brought on by muscle damage from too much exercise – have been released from the hospital. Rhabdomyolysis can be life-threatening.

"The health of each student will be continuously assessed on an ongoing basis and will be used to determine when each is cleared to return to practice," Gnan wrote. "Once student-athletes receive formal clearance to resume activity, they will enter into a gradual return to practice and game competition over a period of two weeks."

Meanwhile, an internal inquiry determined that the intensity of the practice on Saturday, Dec. 31, was a consequence of some players breaking the team curfew two nights earlier. The entire team participated, Gnan wrote.

"We believe the intensity of the practice contributed to the students' illness when combined with other factors including, but not limited to, an immediate return to full activity after an extended break, cross-country travel, rest, hydration and nutrition," Gnan wrote.

Gnan further wrote that there is no evidence that the practice was an act of hazing or was intended to harm the student athletes.

Following the hospitalizations, the school temporarily removed Head Coach Steve Kollar. The letter noted that there had been no complaints against Kollar previously, and noted that the team and parents had continued supporting him through the controversy.

"The University and athletic administration has full confidence in Coach Kollar and believes that he has the best interests of our student-athletes in mind. Assistant Coach Rashaan Surles will continue to oversee the day-to-day team practices and game competition in the near term, and we look forward Coach Kollar's return to head coaching duties in the weeks ahead. On Jan. 13, he will return to campus to resume his off-court, administrative responsibilities," Gnan wrote. "As a private employment matter, the University cannot disclose additional details of Coach Kollar's temporary absence from the basketball court."

The team had to forfeit three games following the hospitalizations. They will be missing a fourth on Saturday.

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