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The Violent Death of Ohio State’s Kosta Karageorge — and the Troubling Link Between Suicide and Concussions

Weeks after suffering what would be the last concussion of an athletic career filled with them, the towering, bearded Kosta Karageorge left his Columbus, Ohio, apartment in the middle of a frigid night. The college wrestler and football player had been distraught, his family said, reeling from his last head injury. At 1:30 a.m., shortly before disappearing into the night, he shot off a final note to his mother, Susan.

“If I am an embarrassment,” he wrote her, “but these concussions have my head all f—ed up.”

After he didn’t turn up the next day, his family contacted police, saying the 22-year-old was missing. 

Karageorge was found dead in a dumpster near his apartment on Sunday of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities don’t yet know what precipitated his suicide, especially given the frequency of suicides among college students generally. But if Karageorge’s death had anything to do with his history of concussions, it would reflect a growing body of research suggesting links among concussions, student athletics and suicide.