(KMTR) -- Heavy hearts in Corvallis
Thursday as the Oregon State University
community mourns of the loss of one of its student athletes, first year football player Fred Thompson.
Thompson was pronounced dead around on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011, following an apparent heart attack.
According to Oregon State Police, Thompson was playing a pick-up basketball game around at the Dixon Student Recreation Center on the OSU campus when he collapsed.
OSP says friends immediately called staff over for help, then 9-1-1. Dixon Rec Center staff attempted to use an in-building defibrillator to help Thompson, but paramedics arrived before the device could be set-up.
Within about 3 minutes after the 9-1-1 call, paramedics arrived and attempted to restart Thompson’s heart, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Oregon State Police spokesman Lt. Greg Hastings said according to preliminary reports from medical examiners, even if is paramedics were right at Thompson’s side when he collapsed, the cardiac arrhythmia that he died from is incredibly difficult to survive.
Hastings said there’s no evidence of any kind of crime in Thompson’s death. A Benton County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy on Thompson's body Friday, December 9th, 2011 to determine an official cause of death.
Thompson was a 6 foot, 4 inch, 317 pound, grey shirt freshman from Richmond, California. He sat out the 2011 football season due to a shoulder injury. Thompson still had four years of eligibility at OSU.
Thursday, December 8th, 2011, the OSU Beavers football team’s head coach Mike Riley, and the university’s Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis spoke about the incident.
“This is just one of those things, you never want to be a part of,” said Riley.
Riley recruited Thompson from Oakland Tech High School with his teammate Ryan Murphy.
“I was so proud of him; he’s come a long way since he got here. I just enjoyed him. Those of you who know him, he was fun and he had a great, great smile and he was just growing tremendously. So we will just miss him, he was a great kid,” said Riley.
“To have one at 19, I mean it’s tough. It's tough because as I mentioned before, as a young person that's got the rest of their life, and in the prime of their life ahead of them.. And with so much promise and potential…” said DeCarolis.
Both DeCarolis and Riley said the University had no knowledge of any pre-existing medical condition before Thompson’s death.
OSU is in the process of setting up a memorial fund in Thompson’s name. The university is also planning a memorial service for Thompson. The service is tentatively set for Sunday, January 8th, 2011, somewhere on the OSU campus. No finite time or location has been set.