Morgan State player fell ill during a non-contact conditioning session, school says

The Baltimore Sun

The Aug. 10 workout at which Morgan State football player Marquese Meadow fell ill was a one-hour, non-contact session geared toward conditioning, a university spokesman said Wednesday.

Meadow, a freshman on the Bears' football team, died Sunday of heat stroke after spending two weeks in the hospital.

Morgan State spokesman Clint Coleman reiterated Wednesday that the school believes all proper procedures were followed by the coaching staff and athletic trainers. He said Meadow was attended to by a trainer after becoming disoriented toward the end of the Aug. 10 session, during which players were not in pads.

"He [the trainer] immediately asked if he [Meadow] was OK and escorted him over to the bench, sat him down and laid him down and called the paramedics based on his evaluation," Coleman said. "Paramedics were there within a very few minutes and they took him to the hospital."

Meadow, a 300-pound defensive lineman from Washington, D.C., was later transported from Good Samaritan Hospital to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died of heat stroke, according to an autopsy. His death has been ruled accidental, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Monday.

Coleman said proper procedures were also followed in terms of keeping players hydrated on what was one of the month's hottest days.

"From the information that we have, we are satisfied that all procedures were followed and everything was done that should have been done," Coleman said.

An attorney representing Benita Meadow said Wednesday that the late player's mother is not accusing first-year Bears coach Lee Hull or Morgan State's coaching or training staff of any wrongdoing, but that she was still seeking further information about the details of that Aug. 10 practice.

"She had talked to [Marquese] the day before when she and her daughter brought him some food, and everything was fine," attorney William McCaskill said. "This particular day [Aug. 10], he didn't make it through the practice. She just wants to know what happened. Everything was well and good, [then] all of a sudden it wasn't."

Coleman said that Hull and members of his staff, as well as several players, visited Meadow in the hospital and have had "ongoing communication" with the family.

"University officials have been in touch with the mother of Mr. Meadow," Coleman said Wednesday. "We have been in communication with her and we are led to believe that she is satisfied with the response she has been getting from the university. The university has reached out with any assistance it can with the family and expressed our profound grief and condolences to the family."

Benita Meadow could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

McCaskill said he did not know the Meadow family until the player's mother contacted him late last week after not being able to get much information from the school. McCaskill said the family is not at this time considering taking any legal action against the school or the football team, calling it "premature" to discuss.

A candlelight vigil for Meadow will be held Friday beginning around 6 p.m., in the 1800 block of Tobias Drive SE in Washington.

Morgan State's football team plans to honor Marquese Meadow with a helmet decal and a moment of silence before Saturday's season opener at Eastern Michigan. Coleman said that students are also planning to hold an event on campus in Meadow's honor in the near future.

Players on the team are hoping to honor Meadow on the field.

"We lost one of our brothers, but we know that he's with us in spirit, and we're just going to go out there and play for him," senior quarterback Robert Council said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Council declined to answer any questions about the circumstances of Meadow falling ill.

Baltimore sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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