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A walk-on football player for Tennessee State died Wednesday after collapsing during a non-contact practice.

The Tennessean reports that 19-year old William Wayne Jones III was returning a football he caught back to defensive backs coach when he suddenly fell to the grass. Tennessee State trainers found Jones unconscious with out a pulse, and immediately attempted to revive him.

Wayne Jones

An ambulance was called and Jones was transported to a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday evening. Tennessee State head coach Rod Reed told the Tennessean he knew of no per-existing conditions that would indicate Jones’ health was at risk.

During Wednesday’s practice, the players were wearing helmets but were not in full gear.

Tennessee State Athletic director Teresa Phillips said in a statement that Jones’ death had left the university in a state of mourning.

“This is a very tragic day for our entire Tennessee State University community and we are devastated by the sudden passing of this young man,” Phillips said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time. Our university and our football team are hurting as we feel the loss of one of our own. As a team and a family we will grieve alongside the family and do everything we can to help support them through this very difficult time.”

Tennessee State next takes the field on November 17th against Tennessee Martin

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OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall


Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19


UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24