Missing Ohio State University football player Kosta Karageorge, a defensive lineman, was found dead yesterday, after being missing for four days. He appeared to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Columbus police.
On Wednesday morning at 1:30 a.m., Karageorge texted his mother Susan Karageorge saying, “I am sorry if I am an embarrassment.” The message mentioned several concussions he had dealt with recently, and according to the police report, had led to some bouts of confusion. A woman and her son scavenging containers came upon his body, Columbus police Sgt. Richard Weiner said. Police identified Karageorge by his tattoos.
Concussions to the head as a result of football plagued Karageorge in recent months, leading many to wonder if that contributed to his mental state at the time of his death.
Karageorge, a 22-year-old senior defensive tackle from Columbus, was last seen at his apartment around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Team spokesman Jerry Emig confirmed that Karageorge missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, which his family says was uncharacteristic.
The team’s physician, Dr. Jim Borchers, said Friday that he could not comment on the medical care of student athletes specifically, but that policies were in place for all injuries.
“We are confident in our medical procedures and policies to return athletes to participation following injury or illness.”
OSU’s athletics department released a statement saying it was “shocked and saddened” to learn of Karageorge’s death. Students gathered late Sunday at a vigil to remember Karageorge, a reserve who appeared in one game this season for the Buckeyes. Teary-eyed students hugged one another and exchanged embraces.
Johnni Dijulius, one of Karageorge’s teammates on the wrestling team, spoke to Karageorge during the vigil.
“I wish you could’ve talked to me if you were struggling. I love you to death and I hope that you found peace and you’re happy.”
Karageorge, a walk-on to the team this season, was a senior and had participated in sports most of his life. When last seen Wednesday, he was dressed in all black and walking through campus by himself. Karageorge was scheduled to be recognized on senior day during Saturday’s home game against rival Michigan, but he had gone missing on Wednesday leading up to the 42-28 win by the No. 6 Buckeyes.
The school expressed condolences in the death of Karageorge soon after the announcement of his death.
“The Ohio State University Department of Athletics was shocked and saddened to learn today of the death of student-athlete Kosta Karageorge, a senior from Columbus. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Karageorge family, and those who knew him, during this most difficult time.”
[Image via NBC News]