Update: The Boulder County coroner's office confirmed on Thursday that former Heisman Trophy winning running back Rashaan Salaam committed suicide by gunshot earlier this month.
Salaam's body was found at Eben G. Fine Park in Boulder on Dec. 5. Salaam's blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.25, three times the legal driving limit.
Original Story: Former Colorado running back and Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam has died. He was 42.
Salaam was found dead at a park in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday. According to a release from Colorado's athletic website, police have determined that there were no signs of foul play. His mother, Khaleeda Salaam, told USA Today that "they found a note" and police told her it was a suspected suicide. The Daily Camera, citing a source, is also reporting the same news.
Salaam became Colorado's first Heisman Trophy winner in 1994. At the time, he was just the fourth player in college football history to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing mark with 2,055 yards. It was a breakout season for Salaam, who totaled 3,057 yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground during his career. Additionally, Salaam won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back.
"The Buff Family has lost an outstanding young man and a great Buff today," Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement. "We are heartbroken for Rashaan and his family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time."
Crazy: Rashaan Salaam is the first Heisman winner of last 55 years to die. Until today, every winner since Ernie Davis (1961) was alive.— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) December 6, 2016
"He was very coachable," said Bill McCartney, Salaam's coach at CU. "He had a happy heart. I loved being around him. He didn't take himself too seriously, and he always credited those around him, especially his offensive line. What I liked about him is that he had a sparkle in his eye. He was upbeat and positive."
Salaam was taken in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears and won NFC Rookie of the Year honors that same year when he ran for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns. He played three years with the Bears, plus two games with the expansion Cleveland Browns in 1999, and finished with 1,684 career yards rushing. Later, Salaam continued his football-playing career in the short-lived XFL and CFL.
Salaam was added to the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.