Former Arizona football player Julius Holt submitted a statement tonight acknowledging his son Justin’s medical retirement from football because of complications from concussions that occurred during practices last season.
The elder Holt started the statement saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge Justin’s official medical retirement from football.”
Justin, a Salpointe Catholic grad who would have been a redshirt freshman defensive lineman in the 2017 season for the Wildcats, “continues to have symptoms and can not be medically cleared,” Julius writes.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez told reporters early today at the outset of spring practice that Justin’s football career was over. It’s a sad end of a career in which Holt was a highly sought recruit with the Lancers.
The rest of the statement:
“After meetings with the coaching, medical, and training staff and much thought on his part, Justin came to the conclusion that the risk of further injury was not worth the risk for his future health and happiness.
“A medical retirement allows him to remain on scholarship for four years and receive the same benefits he would’ve received as an athlete.
“We would like to thank everyone for reaching out with the kind and supportive words. A special thank you is also deserved to those of you that we’re part of Justin’s journey to earn his Division I scholarship, this includes everyone that coached and cheered him on. This is not how we envisioned Justin’s college journey to begin, but we are at peace with his decision, because his health is what is most important.
“Justin is taking on his new reality with determination and maturity, just wanting to work hard and earn his Journalism degree.”
With love and blessings,
The Holt Family
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.