Virginia Tech fans always will have to wonder "what if?" when they talk about Allan Chaney.
He never will be medically cleared to play basketball at the school because of a heart condition that was detected in the spring of 2010, Tech announced Wednesday.
Chaney, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward, would have been a redshirt junior next season. He spent one season at Florida, then transferred to Tech for 2009-10. NCAA transfer rules prohibited him from playing that year, but he impressed his coaches and teammates enough in practice that they believed he would be one of their best players last season.
In the end, he never put on a Tech uniform.
On April 21, 2010, Chaney fainted on the court after a workout at Tech's practice facility. He was diagnosed with viral myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause scarring, which became Chaney's biggest issue after the virus cleared. As Chaney tried to get medically cleared, he traveled near and far, looking for answers. He underwent procedures at the universities of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and saw a specialist in Boston.
But Tech's medical staff "determined that in order to minimize his risk for further complications from his condition, Chaney will not be cleared to return to basketball," according to the announcement. Tech team doctor Mark Rogers, in the announcement, cited "persistent complications from myocarditis" as the reason for Chaney not being cleared.
Tech coach Seth Greenberg said in a phone interview that Chaney will get a defibrillator for his heart. Rogers said in May that if Chaney got one, "it would be unlikely that Tech would clear him."
Greenberg said there are "a lot of things that have to happen" before Chaney gets his defibrillator. During this process, Greenberg was cautiously optimistic but reminded anyone who asked that the doctors would make the final decision.
"Allan Chaney has been through a great deal in the last year and a half," Greenberg said in the announcement. "Everyone involved in our basketball program feels for him. We will do everything in our power to assist Allan as he goes through his next procedure and support him in every way possible."
After the announcement, Chaney indicated on his Twitter page that he wants to try to play at another school. Tech has declined to make him available for interviews since he fainted.