Former Colorado running back and Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the Boulder County Coroner’s Office reported Thursday (via The Denver Post).
The nature of Salaam’s death hadn’t been made public, although his mother said at the time of his death that he left a note, indicating that he had committed suicide when his body was found Dec. 5 in a park in Boulder. He was 42.
As a junior in 1994, Salaam won the Heisman Trophy after rushing for 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns to lead Colorado to an 11-1 record.
Since his death, friends and former teammates, as well as family, have focused on his positive impact, although deeper reporting by The New York Times after his death found that college football’s highest individual honor may have been a heavy burden for the native of Southern California whose NFL career lasted only four seasons.
In the wake of his death, Salaam’s brother, Jabali Alaji, said Salaam showed “all the symptoms” of CTE, the brain trauma frequently associated with football and linked to depression.
Source: Sporting News