Billy Kennedy responds to recruiting rivals using Parkinson's disease against him

Wednesday September 18th, 2013

Billy Kennedy denies Parkinson's disease is affecting his coaching. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Billy Kennedy denies Parkinson's disease is affecting his coaching. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

After a Texas A&M basketball recruit told competing coaches warned him that Parkinson's disease might force Billy Kennedy to step down soon, the Aggies coach has dismissed the rumors as untrue.

Doctor diagnosed Kennedy's lingering pain and weakness in his left arm was early-onset Parkinson's disease two years ago, but he told Yahoo Sports he feels healthier than ever. Kennedy said he has stopped eating fast food and high cholesterol foods, and exercises more regularly. He even plays one-on-one games with his players.

From Yahoo Sports:

"It angers me when people tell recruits I may not coach much longer because it's coming from people who don't really know me," Kennedy said. "I'm in the best health I've ever been in my whole life. I don't really have any symptoms right now to be honest with you. Nobody would even know my situation if they saw me."

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Kennedy said he's not surprised that other school staffs have cautioned recruits about his Parkinson's diagnosis. He calls the tactic mean-spirited and immoral.

"I learned a long time ago all is fair in love, war and recruiting, so I'm not surprised people would bring up something about my health," Kennedy said. "There are some insecure assistants in high-profile programs that do whatever they have to do to get a player. But that's not the norm. I don't think most people are that way."
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