For­mer col­lege grid­iron star Salaam dies at 42

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LOS ANGELES: Rashaan Salaam, a for­mer Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner as Amer­ica’s top col­lege foot­ball player, has died at the age of 42, the Uni­ver­sity of Colorado said Tues­day. The uni­ver­sity re­leased a state­ment say­ing Salaam’s body was found in a park in Boul­der, Colorado on Mon­day night, and that po­lice do not sus­pect foul play. “We are heart­bro­ken for Rashaan and his fam­ily, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very dif­fi­cult time,” ath­letic di­rec­tor Rick Ge­orge told the uni­ver­sity’s web­site. The Chicago Bears, one of the teams Salaam played for in an abortive NFL ca­reer, also ac­knowl­edged Salaam. “Our thoughts are with his fam­ily,” the Bears posted on their web­site. Salaam won the Heis­man Tro­phy in 1994. The run­ning back was drafted by the Bears in 1995 and en­joyed a strong rookie sea­son. But his NFL ca­reer un­rav­elled with Salaam ad­mit­ting that mar­i­juana use played a role. Salaam broke his leg dur­ing the 1997 sea­son and en­tered a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram the fol­low­ing year. But he re­mained out of foot­ball un­til sign­ing as a free agent with the Oak­land Raiders in 1999. Af­ter a short stay with the Raiders he briefly played for the Cleve­land Browns, be­fore try­ing his luck with the XFL’s Mem­phis Ma­niax and the Cana­dian Foot­ball League’s Toronto Arg­onauts.

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