Navy freshman running back William McKamey died Tuesday while in a coma after collapsing during practice three days earlier.
McKamey, who was just 19-years-old, was air-lifted from the practice field to a Baltimore Hospital where he reportedly underwent surgery to reduce swelling and bleeding on his brain. (Via WATE)
Though McKamey collapsed during a Navy practice, it is not believed his coma was a direct result of any extreme head trauma sustained during practice. (Via ABC)
McKamey's mother released this statement after he went into a coma, "Will did not sustain a bad hit or unusual or extreme contact in practice Saturday. The Navy coaches have poured through the films of practice and seen nothing." (Via United States Naval Academy)
Some history though: McKamey did sustain a season-ending injury in high school where he ruptured a blood vessel in his brain. Doctors determined at the time he did not need surgery. (Via YouTube / Randy McKamey )
While a definitive link hasn't been made there either, McKamey's tragic passing is adding even more weight to the fierce head injury debate that has been raging across the country as of late.
"Everyone knew there was going to come a day of reckoning" (Via CNN)
"This smash in the head is the equivalent of getting smashed in the head with a sledge hammer." (Via ESPN)
"Countless concussions have led to an historic settlement today." (Via ABC)
Back in August, the NFL reached an agreement to pay $765 million over concussion-related brain injuries to more than 18,000 retired NFL players, fueling an already heated debate over the dangers of modern day football. (Via CBS)
But McKamey's case does not seem to be one where he was rushed back to the field without due process. The McKamey family says every precaution was taken.
They say he was seen by four different neurosurgeons, underwent four to six CAT scans and waited nine months after the injury to have any sort of contact on the field.
Support for McKamey and his family has poured in since his collapse on Saturday. According to the U.S. Naval Academy, McKamey passed away with his family at his bedside.