NCAC Athlete Death Shocks Colleges

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

The College of Wooster’s Clayton Geib, a senior Chemistry major, All-Conference lineman, and two-time North Coast Athletic Conference Academic Honor Roll member, passed away this past Monday. The 21-yearold native of London, Ohio, walked off the field during Saturday’s football game against Ohio Wesleyan University claiming he did not feel well. According to, he started cramping and hyperventilating in the locker room before being rushed to the hospital — by Sunday, he had no brain activity. An official cause of death has not been reported at this time.

In wake of the tragedy, The College of Wooster will put “72,” Geib’s number, in the end zone for him and has set up a support center for his teammates and friends. The College of Wooster also led a moment of silence for about 3,000 people who gathered to honor his memory on Tuesday. All teams in the NCAC also will participate in a moment of silence tomorrow.

According to Oberlin’s Delta Lodge Athletics Director Natalie Winkelfoos, Geib’s passing has rocked the NCAC, as dozens have reached out to The College of Wooster Athletic Director Keith Beckett. The death has prompted many conversations about coaching and conditiwwoning within the league and the College.

“I do believe that we are doing everything we can to keep our student athletes healthy,” Winkelfoos said. “I feel confident with the relationships that we have with the University Hospitals and the check-ins we do with student athletes. … Our football coaching staff, and all of our [coaches know that] the health of our student athletes comes first.”

Geib’s death is one of many non-professional football player deaths that have sent waves across the nation. In fact, Geib was not the only college football player to die due to game injuries this week, as Midwestern State University cornerback Robert Grays died after seriously injuring his neck in what appeared to be a routine tackle this past Saturday. Grays was only 19, and his death was confirmed on Wednesday, just three days after Geib’s.

While Geib and Grays appear to be victim to freak accidents, coaching negligence and poor conditioning have been hot topics in the student-athlete sports world for several years now. Kent State University first-year Tyler Heintz passed away in June during the second day of conditioning due to a exertional heat stroke, or exertional hyperthermia, which occurs when the body is not given a chance to cool down in an extremely hot environment.

Football is already a sport marred in controversy. For example, NFL players such as Ken Stabler and Eugene Monroe have made a point to detail their extremely painful lives after football; recent research on head trauma in football has found links to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, documented in the 2015 film Concussion; and the NCAA makes billions of dollars on college football players who are not only uncompensated, but also receive no health benefits. It is scary to think that football is now also faced with so many preventable deaths at the college level.

While the whole country has been reassessing the importance of their football programs, The College of Wooster will continue to mourn the loss of Clayton Geib.