Oct. 20, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - The career of Washington State University defensive end Mark Hedeen is in jeopardy following an MRI Monday that indicates the sophomore from Rohnert Park, Calif., suffers from cervical stenosis, according to Cougar head athletic trainer Bill Drake.
"Basically the spinal column is smaller than normal, which means there is not much cerebral spinal fluid around his spinal cord," Drake said.
"It appears Hedeen is not going to play football anymore," head coach Mike Price said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. "He has a congenital defect in his spinal column and it looks like he's going to have to give up football."
Hedeen's problem came to light last week during one of WSU's practices. He also missed most of the Arizona game Sept. 25 when he was injured early in the game. "The injuries in the game and then in practice last week caused us to believe something was wrong. At that point we shut him down and scheduled an X-ray and the MRI."
Hedeen has started four games this year and played in all six contests, making 19 tackles. Last year, as a true freshman, he started two of the 10 games he appeared, making 21 tackles, including two sacks.
"It hurts," Hedeen said of the prospect of having his career cut short . "It hurts everyday when I come out here for practice"
Although the injury is most-likely career ending, Hedeen is going to Spokane later this week for a second opinion.
"We are going to confirm this diagnosis with a neurosurgeon and continue to confirm this assessment," Drake said. "We are talking about things like his career or football future, but even more importantly, the safety of his neck takes precedence over that."
Eboni Wilson, a former WSU defensive end, also suffers from cervical stenosis and now assists his Cougar teammates from the sidelines while finishing his college education.