Mother of Indiana Freshman Brady Feeney Says Her Son Seriously 'Struggling with Virus'

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Debbie Rucker, the mother of incoming Indiana freshman offensive lineman Brady Feeney, went to Facebook on Monday asking for prayers for her son, who is struggling mightily with the COVID-19 virus.

Indiana athletic department officials have been releasing positive test results every week or so, but they have not ever mentioned which players or coaches or staff members have tested positive. In their most recent announcement last Friday, the school reported that there had been 33 positive tests out of 480.

  • RELATED STORY (Monday, Aug. 10): Indiana's Brady Feeney talks about the #WeWantToPlay movement and his desire to play in a safe environment. CLICK HERE

The level of positive tests forced Indiana to pause voluntary workouts for a week, but they resumed for most players on Friday. Indiana officials had no comment Monday on the report on Feeney.

Feeney is a 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman from St. Louis, Mo. Here is his mother's complete Facebook post:

" I am not one to post about personal family issues because I am not one to ask for help very often! However, in this crazy, chaotic world where a global crisis is not being taken seriously I have decided to post my personal family crisis with the permission of my son, Brady who is struggling with this virus! I am asking each of my friends as a request from my HEART, PLEASE take this serious and wear a mask, excercise social distancing and realize by wearing a mask you could be helping protect those that you love! PLEASE 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

"Here is our story...

"My son was negative when he got tested at the beginning of volunteer workouts. Within three weeks he and multiple others tested positive. His university has done everything right by shutting down workouts and retesting the whole team. 

"Unfortunately this virus hit my son very hard compared to most of his teammates. Here was a kid in perfect health, great physical condition and due to the virus ended up going to the ER because of breathing issues. After 14 days of hell battling the horrible virus, his school did additional testing on all those that were positive. My son even recieved extra tests because he was one of the worst cases. 

"Now we are dealing with possible heart issues! He is still experiencing additional symptoms and his blood work is indicating additional problems. Bottom line, even if your son’s schools do everything right to protect them, they CAN’T PROTECT THEM!! 

"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!! Think about it!!! My heart is hurting and I pray for all of these kids and for the people making the decisions about the season!!! 

❤️🙏🏻😢Please protect all of those around you and please wear a mask!!!
Thank you for listening!!
❤️😘

Feeney's mother told the Indianapolis Star Monday night that she's been frustrated by the response to the virus, which has been exacerbated by her son's illness.

“The whole point of my Facebook post is because in Missouri, where we live, the state is not taking this as seriously as they should,” Rucker told Zach Osterman of the Star. “With everything Brady is going through and has been struggling through, it has been infuriating to me that people are not taking this seriously and not wearing masks.

“It’s a serious situation, and it may not affect everyone the same. It’s so simple to wear a mask. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the humane thing to do. Why not wear a mask, to protect yourself and to protect everyone around you?”

She said she's grateful for all that Indiana has done for her son. They have done a full barrage of tests on him along the way, and he will be seeing a cardiologist soon as well.

“The last thing I want is for anyone to think the Indiana University football program has done anything wrong,” she said. “They have been phenomenal through all of this. Everything they’re doing, is exactly what should be done." 

Late Monday night, Brady Feeney actually tweeted himself.

"My mom’s post was a plea from her heart asking for everyone to wear masks and I sure hope our story has triggered a response of willingness to help do what is necessary to stay safe and keep others safe!'' 

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