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Heart condition ends Purdue player's career

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For more on college sports, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio

Simpson will remain on scholarship

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 2:34 am

Purdue forward Jay Simpson's basketball career is over.

Why?

Because of a heart condition, called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The condition is very serious. It caused the death of former players Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis, Kevin Duckworth and Jason Collier.

“HCM is a disease which causes structural abnormalities to the heart and may lead to sudden death in young exercising athletes. It's discovery precludes the participation in competitive sports,” Purdue team doctor Greg Rowdon said in a university release.

Simpson underwent a series of tests after he collapsed without any contact during last month's loss at Nebraska. At the time he said he was experiencing dizziness. He never played or practiced after that while doctors ran a series of tests.

“Obviously, this is very tough and upsetting news to take,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in the same release. “You never want to see a young athlete's career end in a fashion like this. Jay had a very bright future in our program and we are disappointed that he will not be able to continue his basketball career. We are very fortunate that our doctors were able to detect this condition early, which will enable Jay to live a long and healthy life.”

Simpson was also dealing with asthma, which had affected his conditioning and ability to play extended minutes. He played in 26 games with seven starts. He averaged 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds. He totaled 15 assists, 12 steals and eight blocks. He averaged 12.0 minutes a game.

Foot injuries limited the 6-10 Simpson to just 10 games last season before being redshirted. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Simpson, on course to graduate in May of 2016, will remain on scholarship at Purdue.