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Player sues USM over alleged kidney discrimination

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal lawsuit claims the University of Southern Mississippi discriminated against a student athlete who says the school wouldn’t clear him to play football because he only has one kidney.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday says 20-year-old Deven Hammond never has had any kidney-related problems during football games or practices in high school or college.

But his suit claims Southern Miss officials repeatedly raised “liability” concerns after learning of Hammond’s medical condition.

Hammond transferred from Louisiana State University after his freshman year and began practicing with the Southern Miss football team earlier this year. Hammond’s suit says he had offered to sign a waiver and had been cleared to play by the university’s Student Health Services Center.

Southern Miss athletics department spokesman Jack Duggan says he can’t comment on pending litigation.

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