With only one kidney, Northwestern’s Dwight White stops playing football

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EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern cornerback Dwight White has decided to stop playing football.

White tells the Chicago Tribune he found out in June after experiencing abdominal pain that he was born with one kidney. He decided to keep playing. But after suffering a kidney contusion in practice in the final days before the season opener, he ultimately opted to stop.

“Being a member of the football program at Northwestern University has been a huge blessing,” White said in a statement Thursday.

“Throughout my life, football has been awesome during the good times where I’ve had lots of success, and through the tough times where I’ve strived for success.

White appeared in all 12 games and made six starts as a freshman last season. He did not appear in any games this year.

White was approved as a medical non-counter by the Big Ten starting in the 2015-16 academic year, allowing him to remain on scholarship without counting against the team’s limit of 85.

“This football family is part of who I am, and that won’t change with this decision I’ve had to make for my long-term health,” White said. “It hurts knowing I will no longer wear my family name across my back and Northwestern across the front of my jersey on a national level, but I will always support my friends and my second family on and off the field. As I get older, I will be able to look back on this decision and feel good about the time I have had here as a student-athlete. I’m so grateful to be here at Northwestern where I’m able to continue my education at this prestigious university.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, teammates and especially the Northwestern Sports Medicine staff for all of their support.”

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