Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney, whose severe bout with COVID-19 in 2020 attracted national attention and impacted initial decisions about the 2020 season, entered the transfer portal on Wednesday.
Feeney, a St. Louis native, redshirted the 2020 season and did not play in 2021. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 in July 2020, while going through voluntary workouts before his first preseason camp with Indiana.
In a Facebook post, Feeney's mother, Debbie Rucker, wrote that Brady went to the emergency room because of breathing issues and spent two weeks "of hell battling the horrible virus." Rucker, who posted with Feeney's permission, wrote that her son was left with potential heart issues because of the virus.
"Bottom line, even if your son's schools do everything right to protect them, they CAN'T PROTECT THEM!!" Rucker's post read. "I pray my son recovers from this horrible virus and can lead a healthy normal life!! Football does not really matter when your child's health is in jeopardy!!"
Rucker praised Indiana for its response toward Feeney and later told the Indianapolis Star that she had posted as an effort to encourage others to wear masks and take the pandemic more seriously.
Many college administrators became aware of Rucker's post, and concerns about athletes contracting myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and other heart-related problems contributed to decisions by the Big Ten and other leagues in August 2020 to postpone their football seasons. The Big Ten and other leagues eventually reversed course and played shortened seasons in 2020.
After recovering from COVID-19, Feeney returned to full participation in Indiana's practices by October 2020. He earned offensive scout team player of the week once last fall but did not see the field.
Feeney, who initially committed to play for Rice before switching to Indiana, was an ESPN three-star recruit in the 2020 class.