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Kent State Tragedy as Tyler Heintz Dies During Workout

The scope of the loss goes past football

NCAA Football: Kent State at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

In the world of college football, we have seen many things come to pass. Us fans get all worked up over stories and scandals. Sometimes they involve a few extra bucks to a kid struggling to make it, sometimes those scandals involve coaches taking advantage of kids.

Occasionally, the stories involve a tragedy as severe as death. It might involve a former player that was killed in a road rage incident, or that caught some disease. Tonight, it involves a young kid, who only recently joined the ranks of division one college football athlete.

Tyler Heintz passed away while working out with his new team. Last year, he was a typical high school kid, doing typical high school things. Like most kids that age, he showed a particular talent, and his talent was good enough to earn him a scholarship to play football at a D1 school.

He went to that school and while working out, he died.

It’s easy to use statistics to gloss over the fact that a kid died. So many kids are college athletes, and it’s rare they die. However, no parent wants to think of the possibility of sending their kid to college, only to have them come home in a casket. When such a tragedy happens, it’s understandable why they want to blame drugs, or bad decisions. Because it’s a tough pill to swallow that your kid, athletic and strong, could go to college and die.

This early in the investigation, there are many possibilities why he died. None of that matters now, and it doesn’t matter later. He died.

It’s a huge tragedy, and some parents will gain solace if it’s a natural occurrence like a heart defect. Certainly their kid doesn’t have one of those. Others will gain solace if it’s drugs or because the school worked the kid too hard in the heat. At their core, they all seek the same solace, which is an answer. Sometimes, those answers are simple. Nay, all the time, those answers are simple. Bad things happen to good people, and we don’t know why.

Today, a good person died, playing a game he loved. Why? I don’t know, and neither do you. What I do know, is that it’s a tragedy, and without knowing his parents personally, I am praying for them.