Ohio State Football Player Kosta Karageorge Found Dead After Complaining Of Concussions
The body of missing Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge was found on Sunday, just a day after the 22-year-old senior was to be honored at the school's "Senior Day" football game. Karageorge disappeared last Wednesday, leaving his apartment at about 2 a.m. Sgt. Richard Weiner of the Columbus Police Department told reporters on Sunday that Karageorge's body was found in a Dumpster not far from his apartment, a handgun on the scene. Police believe the Ohio State senior died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Karageorge, a defensive lineman who walked onto the Buckeyes football team after three years of collegiate wrestling, had a history of concussion injuries, his family members have said. The initial police report, filed when Karageorge did not return to his apartment less than two miles from the football stadium, said Karageorge's parents were worried his disappearance was connected to his brain injuries. According to authorities, Karageorge's last text to his mother apologized for being an "embarrassment" and said that concussions have made him disoriented.
The Ohio State Department of Athletics released a brief statement via Twitter on Sunday night, saying department staff were "shocked and saddened" to learn of Karageorge's untimely death. Ohio State Buckeyes head coach also released a brief tweet on Sunday.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Karageorge's sister, Sophia, said her brother had at least four or five concussions during his athletic career. She added that his most recent concussion was in September. His family strongly believes that his concussions are related to his sudden death.
Concussions leading to debilitating brain illnesses has been used to criticize the NFL and NCAA in recent years, with many activists, doctors and even former football players alleging that the leagues don't adequately protect or educate their players about the dangers of concussions or traumatic brain injuries. The NFL even stated in September that it recognizes that three in 10 former professional football players will develop serious brain conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease or even CTE, the latter of which results in memory loss and severe depression. CTE has led many former football players to suicide, but the disease can only be diagnosed after death.
In July, the NFL also resolved a massive class-action settlement of $765 million for more than 20,000 ex-football players who alleged they were harmed by head injuries incurred while playing football. According to court documents, the settlement will provide financial assistance to former players with Alzheimer's and dementia, and baseline medical exams for retired players.
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