Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge was reported missing last week and was found dead Sunday of what police believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. While the suicide of any individual is a tragedy, Karageorge’s death has been amplified by concerns that the athlete’s history of concussions may have played a role.
The 22 year old athlete was a walk-on defensive tackle for the team, and police reports indicate his mother told authorities he has had multiple concussions and experienced spells of confusion.
According to the Associated Press, Franklin County coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz announced a neuropathologist would be conducting an exam to see if traumatic brain injuries may have factored into the athlete’s death.
Ortiz explained the exam is not typically part of the autopsy process, however the situation regarding the player’s death and his brain injury history called a neurological examination. The pathologist “may or may not be able to determine any sort of abnormality or defect from traumatic brain injury,” stated Ortiz.
While it has yet to be confirmed that brain injuries played a role in Karageorge’s death, the evidence heavily suggests the young athlete was already experiencing severe neurodegeneration from repeated brain injuries. Karageorge would not be the youngest athlete to be diagnosed with CTE or brain damage linked to repeated head trauma.