The body of former Ohio State offensive lineman Zach Slagle was found early Thursday morning by Canton, Ohio, police. He was 31.
Slagle was found dead via a gunshot wound at approximately 1:20 a.m. per the Canton Rep. That was approximately 20 minutes after he posted what appeared to be a suicide note to Facebook. In it, Slagle said he had lived a full life that was incomparable.
He also mentioned CTE, the degenerative brain disease that has been found in in the brains of former football players. Per the Rep, his brain will be tested for CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Harry Campbell, an investigator for Stark County Coroner Anthony P. Bertin, said Slagle also left a lengthy paper-written message on a table inside the home.
Campbell said the coroner’s office has removed Slagle’s brain, which will be sent to the CTE Center at Boston University for examination. Testing for CTE can’t be done on a living person, so diagnosis can only be made post-mortem.
“Dr. Bertin told the family he would help in any way possible,” Campbell said, adding the family also wanted to have Slagle’s brain examined for CTE.
Research into CTE and its effects on the brain are still relatively in their infancy. While the brain disease has been associated with playing football — it’s been found in large quantities of players who have donated their brains after experiencing memory and other mental issues — there is, at the moment, been no direct link found between the disease and playing football or another sport with repeated head trauma.
Slagle walked on at Ohio State from 2006-08 after he played at McKinney High School in Ohio. He was working as a bouncer for a Canton-area bar.
His Ohio State teammate Jake Ballard has already started a fundraiser in Slagle’s memory to help pay for funeral and burial costs.
“Zach was selfless as a teammate and friend and endeared himself to anyone who knew him,” the page said. “He was always the guy that everyone liked to see and be around. Zach was a fun loving person with a heart of gold. In his honor, we would like to start a fund to help defray the costs of his burial services. Thank you for your consideration and support to Zach’s family in this difficult time.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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