What, exactly, is happening with Arizona star receiver Juron Criner? The rumor mill has been swirling in double-time ever since this week's unconfirmed report that Criner's status for the 2011 season was yet-to-be-determined, thanks to an "undisclosed medical issue."
Phoenix-area sports anchor Bruce Cooper (of the local NBC affiliate) elected to confront the rumors head-on in a blog post for azcentral.com, writing that -- contrary to message-board postings and the like -- a close family member of Criner's has fallen seriously ill, rather than Criner himself. But that doesn't mean everything on Criner's end is necessarily fine, physically, according to Cooper:
A little over two weeks ago Criner experienced a very erratic episode. He was hospitalized while undergoing neurological testing. Could his erratic behavior been a result of the overwhelming news about his close family member? Or could there be something deeper and more serious that caused him to require hospitalization and testing? Fair questions, but the University of Arizona will keep the answers confidential. And rightly so ...
[Y]es, there is a real possibility that Criner will miss this season entirely. But time and doctors will play a large role in determining that.As for the veracity of Cooper's report, we suggest viewing both it and any information regarding Criner's condition with some degree of skepticism until either the university or Criner himself offers confirmation of some sort. (As of now, Criner has been silent, and the school has offered nothing beyond "no comment," for privacy reasons.)
But at this point, it seems likely that something serious (and unfortunate) is happening with both Criner and his family. And in that event, we wish both he and his loved ones a quick and full recovery.