In some incredibly sad news, Kent State’s football program announced on Wednesday that starting center Jason Bitsko passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday morning at the age of 21.
Kent State starting center Jason Bitsko was found dead this morning. He was 21.
— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) August 20, 2014
The university did not provide many more details and the cause of death is still unknown.
According to Kent State’s official website Bitsko started all 12 games at right tackle last season and was expected to move inside to center in 2014.
Here is the official press release from the school, which read in part…
Kent State University mourns the loss of student-athlete Jason Bitsko, who died unexpectedly today (Wednesday, Aug. 20).
Bitsko was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment shortly before 9 a.m. Police believe he passed away from an undetermined medical issue.
Bitsko, 21, was set to begin his fourth year on the team and would have been the starting center for this coming season. He started all 12 games in 2013 and was recently selected to the Phil Steele’s Preseason All-MAC Third Team. Bitsko graduated from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, and was studying Marketing.
Head coach Paul Haynes had this to say about Bitsko and the horrendous news that came out on Wednesday morning.
Our players, coaches and everyone involved with our team are hurting because he was family…As a team, we will come together and get through this one day at a time.
Calls were apparently placed to Bitsko’s room after he failed to show up for morning practice. A teammate then found him unresponsive in his bed and called 911.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kent State football community and Bitsko’s family during this most difficult time.