Augustus Lee, a 20-year-old football player at Richmond University, was found dead on Tuesday, December 11, due to suicide. Lee’s official cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation.
According to the police, Lee, 20, was found dead in his car near the Richmond University campus at 1:35 a.m. on December 11, according to police. The Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported that the cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Lee’s mother Phyllis said she wonders “if something happened because what he did was so out of character for him.” Additionally, Lee’s mother said that Augustus suffered several concussions when he was younger and was once knocked unconscious during a lacrosse game.
Lee was a redshirt freshman defensive back for the Richmond University football team who graduated from Paul VI Catholic in 2017. While attending Paul VI Catholic, Lee was a member of the football, lacrosse and track teams.
Lee’s family has decided to donate his brain to concussion research. His brain will be donated to The Concussion Legacy Foundation, which is a foundation that conducts research into the causes and effects of brain injuries, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
via Washington Post:
“I just wonder if something happened,” his mother, Phyllis Lee, said in a phone interview, referencing the potential of a brain injury caused by contact sports. “Because what he did was so out of character for him. It’s like, okay, wow, something has taken over this sweet kid that I never would imagine would do something like this. And that just led me to think if something had taken over him, maybe it’s his own brain that’s working against him.”
“We sincerely appreciate the contribution to research and we hope the information we’re able to provide is helpful to [Lee’s family],” Nowinski said in a phone interview. “It’s certainly going to be helpful to the athlete community.”
“He loved being a part of a team,” former Paul VI football coach Joe Sebastian said earlier this week. “He was very driven but in a good way. He wanted to be part of good things, positive things. You could see that when he was playing for Richmond.”
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy — commonly referred to as CTE — is a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries. Since CTE’s discovery, numerous cases of it have been found in football players, including many that have committed suicide.
Lee is survived by his parents, Phyllis and Chris, and his siblings, Gillian and Jackson. His funeral is planned for Saturday, December 15, at 2 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna, Virginia.
Our condolences go out to Lee’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.