KENT, Ohio -- Students and athletes are mourning the loss of a Kent State Football player. 21-year-old Jason Bitsko was found dead in his bed at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Friends gathered at his home said Jason had a big heart. It's that love and kindness he had for people that friends say they will remember most.
"Jason was a fierce competitor and even more of a fierce friend. He had a lot of dedication and he put his heart into everything so our hearts are heavy to lose a kid like him," said Marvin Logan, Executive Director of Undergraduate Student Government. Early Wednesday morning Jason's teammates couldn't figure out why he wasn't on the field. When his roommate checked their off campus home, Jason was unresponsive.
August 20, 2014: Friends say Jason's love and kindness is what they will remember most. WKYC-TV
"This took their breath away this morning. He didn't show up for morning practice, we found out what happened and broke the news to the players, many were in tears, the coaches were in tears," said Eric Mansfield, Executive Director of KSU Media Relations. Police say Jason likely passed away from an undetermined medical issue. He was set to begin his fourth year on the team and would have been the starting center.
On Tuesday, the team took part in the ice bucket challenge. Before Jason passed away, he wrote this tweet: "There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Make sure you use one of those to thank God for everything you have."
"We have to work hard and push forward and cherish the moments we get and appreciate them and appreciate the people who are around us and you can't take those seconds for granted," said Logan.
The university is providing counseling and support to help deal with the loss. They are also planning to drive the team to Dayton for Jason's funeral.
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