Thursday, October 27, 2011

Texas A&M's Kennedy Diagnosed With Parkinson's Disease

Texas A&M men's basketball coach Billy Kennedy has been diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson's disease and is leaving the team to undergo treatment, Kennedy said in a news release issued by the school.

Kennedy said he had been experiencing neck and shoulder pain for several months, affecting his ability to sleep and leading to exhaustion. He took a leave of absence earlier this month to restore his strength and determine the cause of the problem.

"Through testing, it has been discovered that I am dealing with an early stage of Parkinson's disease. At this time, I am heeding the advice of my doctors and addressing the disease and its symptoms," Kennedy said.

"We have a good prognosis," Kennedy said. "My intention is to return to the court as soon as it is prudent. Until my return, I have great confidence in (associate) coach (Glynn) Cyprien and the staff I have assembled to lead this great group of young men and this basketball program."

The Aggies hired Kennedy from Murray State and are expected to contend for the Big 12 championship this season. This could be a distraction to the team or a rallying point. From what I've seen from past A&M teams, I would expect the latter. They are a tough group of kids and won't want to disappoint their coach. I fully expect it to be business as usual in College Station.