that I would have to wear a flak jacket to sidelines and say 'there you go, you can really realize it then, but many teammates of mine
protect me. The jacket made me look like a suit up, but you can't play' It just wasn't didn't graduate with a degree."
keg of beer, but they let me play." worth it to me." Schwery worked in the Cougar Club office,
Schwery had a bad urinary infec- Schwery tried calling other which handles donations to the athletic department.
tionwhenhewasyoung,andthesurgeons schools, even schools in the Southwest The Athletics department set him up a one-year
hadfoundthathehadonlyonekidney. He Conference, to try to play. They told him tuition scholarship to at least give him something for
informed Donahoe that he might need to that even if Houston released him, that he leaving home and coming to Houston,
wear a flak jacket, and Donahoe told him wouldprobably have togetapprovalfrom He had also changed his mind on his major,
not to worry it would all be taken care of the NCAA. Because he knew he could never get the 3.5 he'd need
when he got to Houston. 'TTieysaidthatbecause (theteam to make medical school, and he'd already broken
When Schwery reached UH, physician) wouldn't let me play, he had some fingers, he knew he could never be the surgeon
medical concerns were raised on whether pretty much signed my death warrant. No he wanted to be.
he was fit to play. "I took my physical and doctor would allow me to play because AnotherchangecametoSchwery'slife,meet-
the doctor went through all my scars with one fool had denied me the right to play ing his future wife.
me, and he asked about the one on my "Then I hated the man. I would "She was a bright shining star. She helps me
lower abdomen. I told him that I had havelikedtoseensixfeetundertheground, keep my sanity and helps me keep perspective on
bladder surgery and that they had found but today I hold no grudges against him. things."
only one kidney. He's no longer the doctor for the football Craig Veasy and other UH team members
"He told me that you can't play team. I wish he had stepped down a long took Schwery out to an SAE frat party when he met
football with only one kidney, and I said time ago, but I don't know if anything Cindy. Neither were looking for anyone that night,
why? I'd been doing it all my life." would have been different.
CoachDonahoe,Head Coach Jack Schwery also checked out the op
portunities in theNationalFootball League.
He had been scouted in his years at Colo.
State and he had been told that he was a
Pardee, and the trainer had a meeting, and
decided that Schwery should seek a second opinion. The second doctor wrote a
letter to the team
but in less than a year, in 1988, they got married.
Sean plans to send Cindy tocollege, now that
he has graduated. Nursing schcx>l looks to be her
choice, but Sean wished that she would think about a
higher challenge: medical school.
Although the idea
of gettingbackinto shape
"It's changed my life. Since I couldn't play ball i gout for a foot
anymore, I needed to get my college education. ^^whet^S
Even though they revoked my scholarship, they Football, appealed to
,i .11 ( - t i i i c Sean, hereally knows that
gave me the will to go to school and work for my makmgateamnow,after
degree" -UH graduate Sean Schwery ^ awfyfrom ^
ing for so long, would be
him to play, but the
said no. Other
other doctors followed, saying that
there was no proof
that anyone had
died or lost a kidney from playing football, prime candidate for a pro football career in
Stilltheteam physician wouldnot hisfuture.Ccachestoldhim
clear Schwery for play. The doctor placed were now slim to none. Out of so many
a letter in his file that said Schwery should college players, few go in the draft, and
not play contact sports of any kind. most of them played four years of college.
"I still have copies of those letters. ''(The team physician) did the best
I have four letters saying let the kid play7, for what was best for him, but he ruined
and one from him saying that I was unfit to my life. He tooksomething very important
play. (He) totally ruined mylife,becauseof in my life away from me and that really trytofindajob,andthereisnothingoutthere.Ifigured
that an accounting degree would be in demand, but
the market for jobs just sucks."
Schwery was looking into opportunities in
the IRS, the DE A, moving, and possibly going back to
school for a master's or law degree, anything that
would make him more marketable to employers.
Now there's pressure to find a good job and
earn a reasonable living, a tough challenge, but with
next to impossible. So finding a good job after graduation was an important after-school activity.
Schwery worked at a Wal-Mart in Houston,
but $4.75 an hour does not a career make, so he has
sent out several resumes. Unfortunately, 1992 was a
recession year, and businesses weren't hiring.
1Tve been interviewing with companies. I've
been knocking on doors, trying to bust down doors to
what he did." devastated me. Since then I've learned to
Schwery explained that several live with it and come to grips with it.
doctors used to find children with any "It sent me on a totally different
abnormalities unfit for play, now many path, but not necessarily a bad one, be-
doctors look at this with a more forgiving cause I accomplished something I might
view, looking at each player's ability to not have done otherwise,
play as a case-by-case basis. "It totally changed my outlook on
"Afterwe went through all of this, life, since I couldn't play ball anymore as
Ihadtwochoices: A. nottoplay football,or far as college is concerned. I realized that I his university degree, Schwery has already made a
B. to take out an injunction against the needed to get my college education. The
school to put me on the team, and then one thing that Coach Donahoe did for me,
wondering if they would let me play, be- eventhoughtheyrevokedmycollegeschol-
cause I took them to court. They wouldn't arship, but they gave me the will to go to
have to play me, they could sit me on the school and work for my degree. I didn't
personal touchdown. He's hit a goal that his football
career might have missed.
Now he might be the biggest thing to go into