Pregnant Teen Athlete's Fight to Keep Playing Sparked Controversy

The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into four complaints that Horton made that the school district discriminated against her daughter "on the basis of her sex and retaliated against her." That would constitute a violation of Title IX -- a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in athletics.

In a statement to ABC News, Clint Bond, the Fort Worth Independent School District external communications coordinator, said the district was concerned for McCollum's safety and did not violate her rights, district policy or any laws.

"The Fort Worth Independent School District is restricted by law from discussing specific cases involving students," the statement said. "However, we believe our foremost concern through the entirety of this episode has been for the safety and the rights of the student. We strongly contend neither the student's rights, district policy, state or federal law has been violated."

The controversy has divided the Texas town. McCollum has supporters, but so do the coach and the school district. A Facebook page called "I support coach warren and the FWISD" had 290 members as of Dec. 4.

Doctors: Pregnant Women Can Exercise Safely

As Horton waits for word on the investigation, she's helping her daughter -- who is now almost six months pregnant and is scheduled to graduate in December -- to pursue her goals, just with a little added responsibility.

"I knew that it would be hard for me," McCollum said. "It will be hard for me, but I know that it's something that I can get through."

If the Department of Education finds that the Fort Worth School District violated Title IX, it could demand that the school change its policies.

As for McCollum's performance on the court, she was named the best at her position in the district for the year.

Doctors say that it's possible for pregnant athletes to continue to train safely.

"I strongly believe pregnancy should not be a state of confinement," said Dr. Raul Artal, chairman of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Saint Louis University in St. Louis. "If there are no complications, and a woman is willing to continue to train, she can."

Artal has studied the impact of exercise on pregnancy for more than 30 years. In 1985, he and other doctors recommended that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists set guidelines for pregnant women to keep their heart rate below 140 beats per minute during exercise to ensure that the fetus received enough oxygen.

But further testing, he says, showed that the initial recommendation was incorrect. Artal said he asked for the 140 beats notation to be stricken from the guidelines, but it had already become part of the conventional wisdom.

Doctors advise pregnant women to keep their internal core temperature below 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Artal acknowledges that is almost impossible for an average person to measure core temperature. He says pregnant women should stay hydrated, be aware of the change to their center of gravity and maintain a workout pace that allows them to breathe easily.

To this day, he said, there is no standard limit to how high a woman's heart rate should be in pregnancy. CLICK HERE for much more on McCollum's story and pregnant athletes from ESPN.com

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