PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) – A Washington state footballer was found dead in his apartment by an officer who responded to a request for help with “ breathing problems, ” Pullman police chief Gary Jenkins said on Wednesday.
Jenkins said there were no signs of foul play and that Whitman County coroner will determine the cause of death for 22-year-old Bryce Beekman, the senior defensive back found Tuesday afternoon.
Coroner Annie Pillers said in an email that the case remains an ongoing investigation and it could take up to three months to determine the cause of death.
“We are in shock with the news of Bryce’s passing,” said Washington State Athletic Director Pat Chun, in a statement. Bryce was a great young man, a great teammate and will be missed by everyone. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the Beekman family and his many friends. ”
Beekman started all 13 games for Washington state last season after a transfer from Arizona Western College. He finished fifth in the team with 60 tackles and one interception. He was expected to be part of an experienced secondary state in Washington State that took effect this season.
Nick Rolovich, first-year coach in Washington State, informed the team Tuesday evening about Beekman’s death.
“My relationship with Bryce was still in its infancy, but I knew he was a great young man,” Rolovich said. “He was always positive and respected among his teammates. My heart goes out to his family and friends. ”
Teammates went to social media to express their sadness and condolences. The Washington State program is barely two years away from the suicide of quarterback Tyler Hilinski in January 2018.
Cherish your loved ones. Every second is important, ” said attacking lineman Liam Ryan.
In a conference call with reporters Tuesday prior to hearing of Beekman’s death, Rolovich said that the majority of players had stayed in their hometown after spring break. Washington State has moved to an online / external learning platform in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring soccer practice, which was originally scheduled to begin this week, has been postponed.
But Rolovich said that a few players had returned to Pullman.
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