Senior Kurt Michael Schmitz, 22, of Haskell, New Jersey, died Nov. 29, according to a mass email sent by University of Richmond President Ed Ayers.
Schmitz was found in the 1400 block of the West Marshall Street apartments, and no foul play is suspected at this time. Major crimes detectives are currently investigating Schmitz’s death, said James Mercante, a representative from the Richmond police’s public affairs unit. A state medical examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.
"I have been in touch with his family to offer the University's deepest condolences," Ayers wrote in the email. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Kurt's family and friends and all who knew him as a member of the University of Richmond campus community."
Schmitz was a political science major and a three-year member of the Richmond football team. As a freshman at Richmond, Schmitz suffered three concussions that he concealed from the training staff in order to keep playing, according to a Collegian article published last April by Lauren Shute. Schmitz woke up after his fourth concussion in a hospital and struggled to answer the doctor’s initial questions.
Schmitz stopped playing football after his father urged him to consider his future health. He continued to stay involved with the team, checking on players' helmets to make sure they fit safely.
"Guys on the team aren't Superman," Schmitz said in Shute's article. "You may want to play through days where you can't see straight, but from what I've experienced, it will catch you."
Ayers wrote in his email that funeral arrangements would be shared as those details develop, and the university flag would fly at half-staff Monday through Wednesday in recognition of Kurt’s passing.
The Collegian will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Contact Editor-In-Chief Clay Helms at email@example.com
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