Gather’s season in jeopardy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 24, 2002

ATLANTA – A kidney ailment has caused former East St. John High School football star and current Georgia Tech University defensive standout Greg Gathers to lose more than 15 pounds in recent weeks and his playing status for this season is in jeopardy.

A Yellowjackets’ spokesperson said Gathers would not suit up for today’s contest against Brigham Young University and officials said the school would probably appeal to the NCAA for a medical redshirt for Gathers.

The 6-foot-1, 275-pound Georgia Tech defensive end is the second former ESJ Wildcat to seek a medical redshirt within the last week. Tulane University wide receiver Roydell Williams sustained a severe ankle injury Sept. 14 against the University of Memphis and head coach Chris Scelfo said the New Orleans school would apply for a medical redshirt so Williams would not lose a year of eligibility.

Gathers is the all-time leader in sacks at the Atlanta school with 31 sacks in his career and he recorded 10 sacks last season to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference.

According to school officials, Gathers was placed on medication for a kidney disorder – minimal change disease – since the middle of the summer. The medical regimen made it difficult for him to sustain strength and stamina.

“He has a lot of pride in himself,” Gailey said. “It takes a man to admit that he’s not where he needs to be physically.”

Gathers did not attend practice Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Dr. Angelo Galante, the team’s physician, said Gather’s condition is not as serious as the kidney disorder that has threatened the career of NBA player Alonzo Mourning.

Gathers’ ailment involves protein leaking into the urinary tract, which can lead to kidney failure if left untreated. He has been taking a prednisone, a steroid, and other medications to make sure his body doesn’t retain water and unneeded weight.