- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former College of Charleston women’s basketball player Zoe Wallis has sued the school, saying negligence by coach Candice Jackson and her staff led to Wallis collapsing during a training run over the city’s iconic Ravenel Bridge.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Charleston and asks for unspecified damages and Wallis’ readmission to the school through graduation.

Wallis said in the filing that she suffered damage to her liver and kidneys during a timed, five-mile run in August 2014 across the span. Wallis collapsed during the run, saying she tried to tell coaches several times she needed to stop, the suit said.

The suit says Jackson called Wallis “weak” and should crawl to the finish line. Wallis was taken to an emergency room, where she had an internal body temperature of 104.6 degrees. She was admitted to intensive care and remained hospitalized for two days.

College of Charleston senior director of media relations Mike Robertson said the school would not comment on pending litigation.

The 6-foot-5 Wallis played nine games for the Cougars in the 2014-15 season before withdrawing from the team because of “lasting mental and physical effects” from her collapse. Wallis also said in the suit that the school revoked her scholarship, violating NCAA regulations and the school’s grant-in-aid contract that prohibits losing a scholarship because of an injury suffered while participating in the sport.

Attorney W. Mullins McLeod, Jr., representing Wallis, said he hopes the lawsuit brings reform to the College of Charleston women’s basketball program.

“Zoe is determined to stand up for herself and other student athletes,” he said in a statement.

Wallis, from Chesterfield, Missouri, plays at a community college in her home state. She said in a statement that she misses her teammates at the College of Charleston and wakes up each day wishing she were still there. Wallis said Jackson’s actions took away her chance to play basketball for the Cougars.

Wallis said of her former coach, “She shouldn’t be able to take away my education.”


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