Football

Syracuse junior defensive lineman Steven Clark reportedly medically disqualified

Jessica Sheldon | Staff Photographer

Clark, who was medically disqualified Tuesday, made 37 total tackles, three for a loss, and recovered two fumbles in 21 games during his two years at SU.

Syracuse defensive tackle Steven Clark was medically disqualified on Tuesday because of a genetic disorder, Steve Clark, the SU junior’s father, told Syracuse.com.

Clark had started the first nine games of last season at nose tackle until a lower-leg injury sidelined him for the year’s remaining three games. He made 37 total tackles, three for a loss, and recovered two fumbles in 21 games during his two years at SU.

The Orange now has eight defensive linemen on its roster: Redshirt juniors Kayton Samuels and Chris Slayton, redshirt sophomore Jake Pickard, sophomores Kenneth Ruff, Josh Black, McKinley Williams and Kendall Coleman, and redshirt freshman Jaquwan Nelson.

Dr. James Tucker, the head team physician, reportedly made the final decision on Clark based at least partially on recommendations from Dr. Santo DiFino, a hematologist in Syracuse, who believes Clark must remain on blood thinners for the rest of his life.

Clark suffered a sprained MCL and slight meniscus tear during practice on Nov. 8 and, according to Syracuse.com, the SU Athletics medical staff provided him with a knee brace the family believes was too small. After experiencing severe pain, Clark reportedly went to the hospital and there tests revealed four blood clots in the same spots the brace had covered. Further testing reportedly showed Factor V Leiden in one of two genes, which makes him more susceptible to blood clotting.

Steve Clark told Syracuse.com that the clots are gone and his son is “actually better now and stronger now than he was this time last year,” but SU has decided.

The 6-foot-2, 297-pound two-star recruit from Arab, Alabama, who committed to Syracuse over a late offer from Florida in December 2014 will no longer wear an Orange jersey.

Clark can remain at Syracuse and graduate, he is currently a Health and Exercise Sciences major, or he can transfer to another program that may determine him eligible.

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