- An Illinois Wesleyan University
football player has died after suffering
heatstroke during preseason practice last week,
school officials said.
Doug Schmied, 21, of Hanna
City, died late Wednesday at OSF Saint Francis
Medical Center in Peoria.
When the 6-foot-3 senior
offensive lineman fell ill Friday, temperatures
on the practice field were around 90 degrees,
said Dennie Bridges, athletic director at the
The accounting and
computer science major was first taken to
Normal's BroMenn Regional Medical Center, then
transferred to Saint Francis on Sunday and
placed on a ventilator in an intensive-care
School officials expressed
disbelief at his death.
"Doug Schmied's death is
an unspeakable tragedy and leaves all of us at
Illinois Wesleyan shocked and saddened," said
IWU President Richard Wilson in a statement on
the school's Web site. "We have lost a valued
member of our community."
As news spread Wednesday
that Schmied had died students gathered in front
of the Evelyn Chapel on campus, some placing
candles near the chapel steps.
"It's not so much a
goodbye as I'll see you in heaven," one of
Schmied's teammates, Levi Derber, told The
(Bloomington) Pantagraph. Derber said he and
other friends of Schmied were at the hospital
Wednesday when Schmied died.
Titans coach Norm Eash
said Schmied had been looking forward to the
upcoming season, which begins Sept. 3.
"He loved the camaraderie
and the relationships he developed," he said.
"This is a tremendous blow to our team."
Wilson said there will be
a "thorough review" of the events that led up to
the player's hospitalization.
"I'm trying to understand
as best I can what was done and what should be
done in the future," he said.