Ted Agu: University of California Football Athlete Collapses and Dies at 21

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A Cal football player passed away Friday after collapsing during a training drill with his teammates.

Ted Agu, 21, of the University of California Golden Bears, was reportedly having trouble completing the usual morning workout routine at Memorial Stadium.

Medical staff transported him on a cart to the Simpson Center’s medical facility where he then collapsed and was given emergency CPR. Agu was immediately transferred to a local hospital, but was later pronounced dead.

Shockingly enough, the Cal Bears’ team physician said that Agu never showed signs of medical issues prior to Friday’s unfortunate event.

“He was on the back of the cart, he was talking, he was hydrating, he did not exhibit any labored breathing or other signs until he got to the north tunnel,” Dr. Casey Batten said during a news conference.

According to ESPN, sources say that Agu had the sickle-cell trait, but officials have not confirmed the medical condition to be true.

His death is said to now be under investigation and a cause of death will not be confirmed for at least eight weeks.

Agu, who was a defensive end player majoring in public health, was the recipient of a scholarship last year and played seven games last season.

The University’s athletic department announced the news in an official statement on the Cal Bears’ web site:

“At this time, we are deeply saddened to inform you that Ted Agu, one of our student-athletes and a member of our football team, passed away tragically this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ted’s family and friends, our players and coaches, and our University family. Our student-athletes are our priority and we are providing counseling services for our players. “

Shortly after his departure, the rest of the Cal football players were informed of Agu’s death during a team meeting.

Teammates like David Garner posted on Twitter how much his presence would be missed:

During a news conference, Coach Sonny Dykes expressed how much of a special person Agu was:

“Ted was a very special young man. As a coach, you have the opportunity to be around a lot of special kids day in and day out. He was a special young man. He just had a passion and energy for life that’s contagious. He will be deeply missed. Our players loved him dearly and he was a big part of our family.”


Here is an interview with Agu last March 2013:

Image via Twitter

Ted Agu: University of California Football Athlete Collapses and Dies at 21
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  • Don Stevens

    Sudden Cardiac Arrest resulting in death is one of the leading causes of mortality among Afro American athletes living with Sickle Cell Anemia. Pre-sport physicals of all athletes, middle school through collegiate age, ought to include vital statistics followed up with an Electrocardiogram and also an Echocardiogram for anyone with irregularities in vitals and an Electrocardiogram. Mass screenings (of community wide athletes) for vitals and irregularities are a cost effective means to prevent death from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Visit the website for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation for more information. Over 2000 American Students die from SCA every year.

    • James Irving

      Sickle Cell anemia not only affects African people but also other nationalities around the Mediterranean and South America. Where do you find the statistics you quote point to Afro Americans? Maybe you just mean athletes who are black.

      • Don Stevens

        James: do a search on Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation; visit their site and read all about Sickle Cell Anemia and Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Satisfy your curiosity!

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