College Football Player Collapses, Dies
The sudden death of a freshman football player has stunned a community in Tennessee. William Wayne Jones III, a redshirt football player at Tennessee State University, died during a practice on November 7.
Jones, a defensive back, was participating in a non-contact practice when he suddenly collapsed. When trainers found him, he was completely unconscious and without a pulse, according to News Channel 15. He was taken to Baptist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. According Coach Rod Reed, Jones had been tossing the football around with defensive back coach Ed Sanders just before he collapsed.
TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips released a statement, saying:
“This is a very tragic day for our entire Tennessee State University community and we are devastated by the sudden passing of this young man,” TSU athletic director Teresa Phillips said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time. Our University and our football team are hurting as we feel the loss of one of our own. As a team and a family we will grieve alongside the family and do everything we can to help support the family through this very difficult time.”
Coach Reed told reporters that all 86 players on the Tigers’ roster, plus its coaching staff, will be attending the service.
“I spoke with the dad and he was trying to make arrangements around the game. That’s what he thinks Wayne would have wanted. I applaud him for that, but I told him not to make any special concessions for us. Whatever the case may be we’ll be there.”