Iowa agrees to pay former Panther offensive lineman $150K for head injuries during research

The state has agreed to pay a former University of Northern Iowa football player $150,000 after he suffered “significant” injuries while participating in a research study being run by another former UNI Panther — and NFL player — Chad Rinehart.

Iowa City native and Regina High School standout Philip H. Arendt, 23, in September 2019 sued the state for negligence after he — as a scholarship offensive lineman for the UNI Panthers — in March 2017 was asked to participate in a graduate study program, the lawsuit said.

All offensive and defensive linemen were asked to participate in the study, which assistant kinesiology professor Jacob Reed was supervising. Rinehart — who played at UNI from 2003 to 2007 and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2008 — was pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology at the time and doing a thesis on correlations between weightlifting and on-field technique.

Rinehart was running the study that left Arendt unable to continue his football career, according to the lawsuit.

“During his participation, Arendt became dizzy from overexertion, fell, and hit his head, resulting in significant injuries,” according to the lawsuit. “As a result of the injuries, Arendt is no longer able to participate in football and continues to suffer from post-traumatic headaches and other symptoms.”

Rinehart played for the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers before pursuing an advanced degree at UNI and then taking a job as assistant athletic director at Waverly-Shell Rock Senior High School.

Arendt, who today is a strength and conditioning coach for Iowa City Regina, asserted in his lawsuit that Professor Reed “was negligent in failing to incorporate appropriate safety protocols” and “should have known of the unsafe conditions in which research was being performed.”

As a result, Arendt was strapped with past, present, and future medical costs; pain and suffering; emotional distress; loss of body function; and loss of earnings, the lawsuit claimed.

The State Appeal Board, in recently approving the $150,000 payment, reported the study made Arendt dizzy, causing a concussion and post-traumatic stress.

Arendt red-shirted for UNI in 2015 — after boasting four state championships with Regina and serving as team captain his senior year, holding a state record for 56 consecutive wins. He saw action in two games in 2016 and then did not see any in 2017, according to his UNI athlete bio.

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Iowa agrees to pay former Panther offensive lineman $150K for head injuries during research