Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer said Monday that the apparent suicide of one of his players is an “incredible tragedy.” He shed no light on the medical history of the player, whose mother said his last text to her was about concussions.
“We’ll never get over it,” the coach said one day after the body of defensive tackle Kosta Karageorge was discovered in a trash bin. Police said that Karageorge, who was missing four days, apparently shot himself to death.
Karageorge’s mother, Susan, told police that her son suffered several concussions and had bouts of extreme confusion. She said he sent her a text message four days before his body was found, saying that concussions had messed up his head. “I am sorry if I am an embarrassment,” the text said.
The Ohio State wrestling coach told The Columbus Dispatch that Karageorge, who wrestled for the Buckeyes for three years, had no documented concussions.
But the football team’s doctor has said he cannot comment on the medical care of athletes. Meyer was asked about Karageorge’s medical history Monday and said he had been told not to address the matter.
Karageorge was a walk-on and was recognized Saturday on Senior Day as the Buckeyes beat archrival Michigan. Ohio State plays for the Big Ten championship this weekend. “To overcome the incredible tragedy that happened last night this is a real challenge,” Meyer said.
A growing body of research shows that repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage, and organized football has come under criticism for ignoring the danger for too long.
A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement under which the NFL would pay thousands of former players for concussion claims. She did so only after the NFL agreed to remove a $675 million cap on damages.
In college sports, the NCAA has proposed spending $70 million on a program that would monitor athletes for brain trauma.
And The Associated Press reported over the weekend that a former high school quarterback in Illinois is suing a state governing body for not doing enough to protect him from concussions. The organization says reducing concussion risk is a priority.
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Erin McClam with The Associated Press