Oklahoma Sooners Linebacker Austin Box was found unconscious today at a home in El Reno, Oklahoma. He was care-flighted to Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City and later announced dead by the medical examiner.
Box was only 22 years old.
He would have been a senior this coming fall.
To say that Austin Box was a talented player was not saying enough. Box was electric on the field.
When Box made a play, it was a play you remembered.
Austin had been with the Sooners since 2007. He redshirted his freshman year, but has been an impact player since 2008.
This is a major loss to Sooner Nation and unfortunately is coming right after college football lost another player: Aaron Douglas of Alabama. Douglas was also just 22.
Information is coming out that the official police report is saying Box took an “unnamed controlled substance”. Medical Examiner’s office does not expect a cause of death for Box to be announced today.
Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione released this statement:
Austin Box will be greatly missed by his many friends and teammates in the Athletics Department and all across campus. Grief counseling is being made available to members of the team and his close friends.
Also releasing a statement was school President, David Boren:
The University family is deeply saddened by the tragic death of student-athlete Austin Box. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”
Head Coach Bob Stoops is currently overseas, but I would imagine that we will hear from him shortly.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Box family, and all of Sooner Nation right now.
He was too young to die. This one hurts.
A friend of mine just said, “Heaven needed a tough middle linebacker. RIP Austin,your work on earth is done.”
*Update: Stoops released a statement from overseas-
We’re all shocked and heartbroken. Austin was a great young man, a great young man to coach and a great teammate. He played an integral part in our success the last three years and was looking forward to a big senior year. As heart-wrenching as this is for us, we know it’s even more difficult for his family. More than anything, our thoughts and prayers are with them.”