Skip to main content

Kent State Football Player Dies After Practice (Photo)

A freshman football player at Kent State has died following an offseason workout.

Tyler Heintz, 19, was an incoming freshman who had arrived on campus days before his death on June 13. An offensive lineman, Heintz was participating in a summer practice when he lost consciousness. He was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Kent State University issued a statement via its website:

Today, the Kent State University family mourns the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, freshman football player Tyler Heintz. Tyler was transported to a local hospital by paramedics this morning following football conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. The cause of death is not yet known.

Tyler was from Kenton, Ohio, and planned to study marketing and entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration. Tyler was recruited as a rising star on our offensive line.

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Tyler’s family and friends, as well as Coach Haynes and the team, our athletics staff and our student-athletes. 

Heintz was a native of Kenton, Ohio, and graduated from Kenton High School. The school's football program responded to the news of Heintz's death on Twitter.

"Tyler Heintz passed away after a Kent State workout today," the tweet said, according to ESPN. "Shocked and bewildered is all we can say. Pray for his family."

Image placeholder title

"What a great kid," a follow-up tweet said. "Your football family will miss you."

The Record-Courier reports that Heintz helped Kenton reach the state semifinals on two occasions.

Student-athletes at Kent State are required to meet with team doctors and must pass a physical before engaging in summer workouts on campus. Heintz and other student-athletes were reportedly cleared to begin practicing on June 11.

The county coroner, Dr. Dean DePerro, told the Record-Courier that an autopsy on Heintz's body was scheduled for June 14. He said officials are currently busy gathering hospital records and medical charts, as well as interviewing those who were with Heintz at the time of his death.

"The post-mortem is just one piece of the puzzle," DePerro said, adding that medical staff at the hospital worked to revive Heintz for two hours "without success."

In August 2014, another Kent State football player, offensive lineman Jason Bitsko, died unexpectedly. He was found unresponsive in his room. The autopsy revealed that he had died of a cardiac arrhythmia, triggered by an abnormally large heart, according to ESPN.

Sources: ESPN, Kent State University, Record-Courier / Photo credit: Airman John Ciccarelli/U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons, Kenton Football 2017/Twitter via ESPN

Popular Video