A Washington State University football player was found dead in his apartment Tuesday afternoon and police believe it to be an apparent suicide.
Pullman Police released a statement saying officers arrived to find quarterback Tyler Hilinski, 21, dead. Police went there after he failed to show up for practice.
Pullman police said there are no signs of a crime. The Whitman County medical examiner will determine the official cause and manner of death.
Hilinski was a redshirt sophomore and appeared in a few games last season when starter Luke Falk struggled. Hilinski's best performance was helping WSU come back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Boise State in triple overtime.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing," said WSU head coach Mike Leach in a statement. "He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
WSU's Interim Athletic Director John Johnson released a statement saying the team was gathered together to be told of Hilinski's death, and were able to meet with counselors.
“The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinksi is devastating to all. Tyler was a tremendous individual, great friend and teammate, and he will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends," Johnson said.
WSU Assistant Athletic Director Jason Gesser, a former Cougar quarterback himself, tweeted "Tonight our thoughts go out to the Hilinski family. Rest easy, Tyler. Once a coug, always a coug."
He also tweeted "Please... all @WSUCougars come together for the Hilinski family and the @wsucougfb family. They will need more than thoughts and prayers. They and everyone connected to this will need love and support for the rest of their lives. #RIP3 Love you always brother."
The news comes the day before the expected introduction of Pat Chun as the new WSU athletic director.
There are crisis hotlines to help individuals or families or if you need to have a discussion with your children. Washington State University has a 24-hour hotline at 509-335-2159. There are crisis counselors who are trained to help.