Kentucky DE Paschal has cancer; assistant faces 'medical issue'

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops delivered sobering medical news on Friday about one of his players and an assistant coach.Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports file photo

Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal and offensive line coach John Schlarman are dealing with health problems.

Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal and offensive line coach John Schlarman are dealing with health problems, coach Mark Stoops revealed Friday.

Stoops said Paschal is battling skin cancer on one of his feet. The malignant melanoma was diagnosed after he underwent a medical procedure last week to remove lesions.

Meanwhile, Schlarman has an "undisclosed medical issue," Stoops said, but there were no other details about the assistant coach's condition.

Paschal was considered a potential starter this year after moving from linebacker to defensive end. As a freshman last year, he finished with 17 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

"Appreciate all the love, support, and prayers," Paschal tweeted Friday afternoon. "God has a plan for me and this is just a part of it. I'll be back!"

No indication was given when Paschal might return to the team.

"Josh and his family are handling it well," Stoops said, per the Louisville Courier Journal. "They want to be open about this so there was no speculation. They also want this to be a reminder to people to pay close attention to their skin and have those evaluated."

Schlarman is in his sixth season at Kentucky, his alma mater. He will continue coaching during the Wildcats' preseason camp but may have to step away at certain points to address the medical issue.

"John and Josh are very strong, very good people, two of the best people we have in our program," Stoops said. "Our team will be supportive of them as they continue to battle through these health issues. It's been a tough couple days in our program leading up to the beginning of camp here, but we -- again, our hearts and prayers are with Josh and John as they battle this issue."

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