Kent State freshman football player dies after practice

Update: The Portage County Coroner’s office said an official cause of death may take months to determine. An autopsy was performed Wednesday 

Kent State released the following statement from Head Football Coach Paul Haynes regarding the death of Tyler Heintz following yesterday’s workout. 

“We are deeply saddened by the loss. Tyler was an unselfish young man who exemplifies everything we look for in a Golden Flash. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
A GoFundMe page supporting the Heintz family “in the wake of their unexpected and tragic loss” was started. It asks for those unable to donate to pray for the family. 
The official Kent State Athletics Twitter page changed its profile picture to Heintz’s high school and collegiate football jersey to honor him. 
Earlier coverage: 
Tyler Heintz, an incoming freshman offensive lineman on the Kent State football team, died following the second day of football camp Tuesday morning, according to a Kent State press release.

The cause of death is unknown at this time, the press release states. 

“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,” the university wrote.

The Kenton Football 2017 Twitter page said “Shocked and bewildered is all we can say. Pray for his family.”

KentWired talked to several players who were at the practice with Heintz. One of them said Heintz was breathing heavy, “but everybody was.”

The coaches then dismissed the players from practice, but Heintz stayed behind, they said.

At a 5:30 p.m. meeting, the team was notified of Heintz’s death.

Heintz planned to study marketing and entrepreneurship at the university.

“He was supposed to have his first class after practice, but he didn’t even get to go to that,” another player said.

The Record-Courier reported that the Kent Fire Department responded to a call at Dix Stadium at 9:18 a.m., and then transported Heintz to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 11:34 a.m.

On August 20, 2014, another Kent State football player, Jason Bitsko, was found dead in his room after he didn’t show up for practice. Portage County coroner said Bitsko had an enlarged heart and probably died of an arrhythmia in his sleep.

Heintz is the second Kent State student to die in the last week. Fashion major Taylor Pifer was killed in her North Royalton home in a triple homicide, police said.