COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State football players, wrestlers and other athletes plan to attend the funeral service for a teammate found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the university said Tuesday.
Fellow football players have described Kosta Karageorge as a hard-working and enthusiastic athlete who often stayed for extra practice even though it was unlikely he would ever play in a game.
The service was scheduled for Wednesday at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, with a private burial in Athens County.
Athletes from other sports will also attend, and football teammates planned to wear a No. 53 helmet sticker — Karageorge's number — during Saturday's Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, said Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig.
Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the Franklin County coroner, says Karageorge died of a gunshot wound to the head, but she hadn't definitely ruled it a suicide as of Tuesday afternoon.
Karageorge's mother says he had had several concussions, and the coroner says a special examination will be done of Karageorge's brain to look for any traumatic injury.
Columbus police said Sunday, the day Karageorge's body was found, that he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was found in the trash bin with him, police said.
Karageorge, 22, disappeared four days earlier after sending his parents an apologetic text message.
The message said, "I am sorry if I am an embarrassment but these concussions have my head all f----- up."
His mother, Susan Karageorge, told police her son had had several concussions and a few spells of being extremely confused. Players also knew of Karageorge's history of concussions, they said in interviews Monday.
Karageorge was a Buckeyes wrestler for three years, and the senior defensive tackle joined the football team as a walk-on this season. He hadn't played any games. He was known as a "scout team" member, meaning he likely wouldn't see playing time and took the role of an opposing team member during the regular starters' weekday practices.
His body was found Sunday by a woman searching trash bins near her neighborhood for scrap metal to sell.
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer says he's been instructed not to discuss Karageorge's medical issues but said he is confident in the quality of medical care athletes receive.
More than half of concussions don't get reported, said Dr. Robert Cantu, co-founder of a center that studies these injuries at Boston University Medical School.
The emotional after-effects of repeated concussions can include depression, anxiety and panic attacks, and there can be cognitive problems like trouble concentrating, he said.
___ Associated Press Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione reported from Milwaukee.