TULSA - A former University of Tulsa football player has died.
Former linebacker George Clinkscale, 24, died Wednesday night following an unsanctioned boxing match at GUTS Church, according to Joe Miller, director of the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission.
Miller said events like this must be sanctioned with the U.S. Boxing organization to be recognized as legal.
George participated in the Sixth Annual Fight Night event, which was held at the Church Wednesday evening, Guts Church said in a statement.
"George experienced cramping, and requested an IV for dehydration from EMSA personnel, who were on site at the time EMSA subsequently transported George to St. Francis Hospital and a few hours after checking into the hospital, he tragically passed away."
Bill Blankenship, TU head football coach, released the following statement upon hearing of Clinkscale's death:
"Our football program has been shaken by the news of George Clinkscale's passing. The thoughts and prayers of the entire TU football family go out to his family and friends during this terrible time. George was much too young to be taken from us. He was an extremely passionate and bright young man who will be greatly missed and long remembered by his teammates and coaches. The thing I was most excited about in George's life right now was how tremendously excited he was to be a father. He was passionate about working as a football coach and how much he could make a difference with those young men. It's a tragic loss for all of us."
Clinkscale played for TU from 2005 to 2009, graduating with a degree in exercise sports science.
Dan Phillips, who helped recruit Clinkscale to T.U. and recently hired him as an assistant coach at Central High School, said Clinkscale did not mention anything about boxing the last time he saw him on Wednesday.
"We left practice [Wednesday] and he asked me if he could leave early because he had some things that he needed to do," said Phillips. "Then I heard the news and was just really taken back by it."
Phillips said even though Clinkscale was a young coach, he had already made a tremendous impact on the student athletes.
"He could challenge the kids and they responded well to him," said Phillips. "George was a passionate happy person. I don't know anyone that didn't like George. I loved him like he was a brother of mine and he'll be missed."
No word on how long the investigation by the state athletic commission will last. Information they obtain will be turned over to the Attorney General's office.