Missouri State Keeping Quiet After Student Athletes Were Injured During Cryotherapy Sessions

(Photo by jacoblund / Getty Images.) Skyler C. Scarlett, CEO of California-based Glace Cryotherapy Inc., told Club Industry that protecting a client’s feet with dry socks and slippers is paramount when administering cryotherapy.

Although two of its men's basketball players were injured during cryotherapy sessions earlier this year, officials from Missouri State University recently announced they have no plans to publicize their findings after an investigation into what went wrong.

The incidents occurred Jan. 22, 2018, at the university’s JQH Arena, according to a report by the Springfield News-Leader. King Owens, owner of the Springfield-based Kombat Cross Training health club, told the News-Leader that a university athletic trainer asked his club to provide the men's basketball team with a cyrosauna after the team had been struggling on the court.

The entire men's basketball team and eight members of the women's team underwent short, full-body sessions in the cryosaunam the News-Leader reported. Two men's players—Reggie Scurry and Abdul Fofana—developed severe blisters on their feet after the sessions. The blisters sidelined them for the rest of the basketball season. Fofana will also miss the entire 2018-2019 season due to the injury, the News-Leader reported. Scurry has since transferred to Middle Tennessee State University, where he, too, may remain sidelined until the 2019-2020 season.

Scurry told the News-Leader he experienced the worst pain of his life within five seconds of beginning his Jan. 22 cryo session, worrying he was going to lose his toes.

Scurry said he felt OK immediately after the session, with pain setting in about five minutes later.

Owens told the News-Leader he did not learn of the blisters until some time after the sessions had ended.

The university investigated the incidents but told the News-Leader in late June 2018 that the details were exempt from being released under Missouri's Sunshine Law.

Kombat Cross Training did not immediately respond to Club Industry's inquiry about who manufactures their cryosaunas.

Skyler C. Scarlett, CEO of Glace Cryotherapy Inc., Mountain View, California, has administered more than 30,000 cryotherapy sessions with only two minor incidents. He was not involved in the Missouri State incident, but he told Club Industry on June 27 that protecting a client’s feet is paramount when administering cryotherapy.

"Every time I first have a client, I look at their feet," Scarlett said. "They need socks and slippers. I make sure they have both. ... These guys may have got in with wet socks or no socks at all. When we have new clients, they are so excited and nervous that 80 to 90 percent of them may forget to have shoes or socks on, or [may forget they have on] a piece of jewelry. I always check you over, especially if there's a big group to manage, one after another."

Missouri Press Association attorney Jean Maneke told the News-Leader that MSU is not, in fact, legally required to release the results of their investigation as a personal matter, but the university may be morally pressured into doing so due to the student injuries.

"The university does have to deal with the fact that parents entrust their kids to the university," Maneke told the News-Leader. "The university depends on pulling in students. Parents of students will look at the perception of whether students are safe on campus or not."

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