Wash­ing­ton St. foot­ball player found dead

New York Daily News - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

PULL­MAN, Wash. — A Wash­ing­ton State foot­ball player was found dead in his apart­ment by an of­fi­cer who re­sponded to a call for help in­volv­ing “breath­ing prob­lems,” Pull­man Po­lice Chief Gary Jenk­ins said Wed­nes­day.

Jenk­ins said there were no signs of foul play and that the Whit­man County coro­ner will de­ter­mine the cause of death for 22-year-old Bryce Beek­man, the se­nior de­fen­sive back who was found Tuesday af­ter­noon.

Coro­ner Annie Pillers said in an email that the case re­mains an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that it may take up to three months to de­ter­mine the cause of death.

“We are in shock with the news of Bryce's pass­ing,” Wash­ing­ton State ath­letic direc­tor Pat Chun said in a state­ment. “Bryce was a tremen­dous young man, great team­mate and will be missed by all. We send our deep­est con­do­lences and prayers to the Beek­man fam­ily and his many friends.”

Beek­man started all 13 games last sea­son for Wash­ing­ton State af­ter trans­fer­ring from Ari­zona Western Col­lege. He fin­ished fifth on the team with 60 tack­les and one in­ter­cep­tion. He was ex­pected to be part of an ex­pe­ri­enced Wash­ing­ton State sec­ondary go­ing into this sea­son.

First-year Wash­ing­ton State coach Nick Rolovich in­formed the team of Beek­man's pass­ing on Tuesday night.

“My re­la­tion­ship with Bryce was still in its early stages, but I knew him to be a won­der­ful young man,” Rolovich said. “He was al­ways pos­i­tive and well re­spected amongst his team­mates. My heart goes out to his fam­ily and friends.”

Team­mates took to so­cial me­dia to express their sad­ness and con­do­lences. Wash­ing­ton State's pro­gram is barely two years re­moved from the sui­cide of quar­ter­back Tyler Hilin­ski in Jan­uary 2018.

“Cher­ish your loved ones. Ev­ery sec­ond mat­ters,” wrote of­fen­sive line­man Liam Ryan.

In a con­fer­ence call with re­porters Tuesday prior to learn­ing of Beek­man's death, Rolovich said the ma­jor­ity of play­ers had stayed in their home­towns fol­low­ing spring break. Wash­ing­ton State has moved to an online/re­mote learn­ing plat­form in the wake of the COVID-19 pan­demic. Spring foot­ball prac­tice, orig­i­nally sched­uled to start this week, has been post­poned.

But Rolovich said a few play­ers had re­turned to Pull­man.

AP

Wash­ing­ton State de­fen­sive back Bryce Beek­man, 22, was found dead in his apart­ment on Wed­nes­day in Pull­man, Wash.

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