Coroner rules Rashaan Salaam's death a suicide

BY Sports Illustrated and SI Wire/Sports Illustrated • December 29, 2016

A coroner ruled that the death of former NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam was a suicide.

The Boulder County Coroner's Office in Colorado said that an autopsy showed the cause of Salaam's death was a gunshot wound to the head.

The report, obtained by the Denver Post, said Salaam had a blood-alcohol level reading of 0.25, which is more than three times the legal driving limit in Colorado. Salaam also had marijuana in his system at the time of his death. 

Salaam, 42, was found dead in a park in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 5, and authorities had said there were no signs of foul play. Salaam starred at Colorado for three seasons, winning the Heisman trophy as a junior in 1994. He then declared for the NFL draft and was selected 21st by the Chicago Bears.

He rushed for 1,074 yards in 16 games as a rookie—the youngest player ever to rush for 1,000 yards—but was let go by the Bears in 1997, after three injury-plagued seasons.

He also played two games with the Browns in 1999 but only had one carry

Colorado will honor Salaam on Thursday night at the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma State with a helmet decal, which will display his initials above his No. 19 that he wore at Colorado.

- Scooby Axson

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