The end of the Steven Clark saga at Syracuse is here. After being medically disqualified from Syracuse football in June, Clark told Syracuse.com he will transfer to Western Michigan.
Syracuse head team physician Dr. James Tucker medically disqualified Clark because of a genetic disorder on June 7. Syracuse-based hematologist Dr. Santo DiFino also had a say in the decision, and it was DeFino who said, “Clark needs to stay on blood thinners for the rest of his life.”
But four other independent doctors (two before his medical DQ and two afterwards) cleared the defensive tackle for physical activity. One of those four includes a Rochester-based hematologist who specializes in blood clots, Dr. Peter Kouides. Still, the Syracuse medical staff would not clear Clark.
Orange athletic director John Wildhack cited “differences of opinion” within the medical community as the reason for the medical disqualification. He also expressed confidence in Tucker’s decision.
“I think, first and foremost, the welfare and well-being of our student/athletes is paramount,” Wildhack told Syracuse.com last week. “That is the most important thing. Within the medical community, there are often times when you get a second or third opinion and there’s not consistency. There can be differences of opinion.
“I’m confident in the work our medical team has done. That said, I also respect Steven and his family’s ability to see if there are other playing opportunities for him. If there are and he pursues those, he’ll do so with our full support. If he chooses to stay here at Syracuse, he’ll have the full support of our department.”
Clark expects to arrive at Western Michigan in Kalamazoo on Wednesday.