Autopsy expected in KSU football player's untimely death - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Autopsy expected in KSU football player's untimely death; players & coach remember his life

Kent State student-athlete Jason Bitsko. (Source: Kent State University) Kent State student-athlete Jason Bitsko. (Source: Kent State University)
Head Football Coach Paul Haynes and teammate Nate Vance answer media questions on Bitsko's death. (Source: WOIO) Head Football Coach Paul Haynes and teammate Nate Vance answer media questions on Bitsko's death. (Source: WOIO)
KENT, OH (WOIO) -

The Portage County Medical Examiner says an autopsy will be performed on Thursday, to determine the cause of death of a 21-year-old Kent State University football player.

Jason Bitsko was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment on Wednesday. His roommate called 911 after finding him in bed.

Police believe he passed away from an undetermined medical issue.

Members of the football team were told of Bitsko's passing during the end of the morning practice. All remaining football activities on Wednesday and Thursday were canceled.

Kent State Head Football Coach Paul Haynes held a news conference to discuss Bitsko's death.

"He was a mentor. He was a friend," said Coach Haynes. 

"I've never seen someone light up a room as quickly as he did. He really did just want to make everyone's day as good as he could possibly do it," said teammate Nate Vance. 

Friends and coaches say he made an impact at the university beyond the field.

"You talk to people around this campus, he always had a smile on his face," said Haynes.

Everyone who knew him talked about his smile, his leadership and his positive attitude.

"You could be having the worst day and he'd crack some joke and the whole place would just break out laughing. That's just who he was," said Vance.

Bitsko continues to inspire others who look to his last tweet from Aug. 14:

There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Make sure you use one of those to thank god for everything you have #stayfocused

Those paying tribute via social media are asked to use #KSUJason54.

The university is providing counseling services and support to all student-athletes and staff members within university athletics as they deal with this loss. Counseling is always available by contacting Psychological Services at the DeWeese Health Center at 330-672-2487. Counseling and support are also available through the Counseling and Human Development Center in White Hall and the Psychological Clinic in Kent Hall.

The football team will wear decals with Bitsko's number 54 on their helmets for the season. The Golden Flashes open the football season at home in nine days.

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