Autopsy Reveals Former Heisman Trophy Winner Rashaan Salaam Shot Himself

Ford Springer | Contributor

An autopsy released Thursday revealed that former University of Colorado running back Rashaan Salaam committed suicide by shooting himself in the head on December 5.

10 Dec 1994: COLORADO RUNNING BACK RASHAAN SALAAM WITH THE HEISMAN TROPHY AFTER BEING NAMED AS THE 60TH WINNER OF THE AWARD AT THE DOWNTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB IN NEW YORK CITY NEW YORK.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Salaam was only 42 years old. The autopsy revealed that the former Heisman Trophy winner “had been drinking heavily and using marijuana before the suicide,” The Denver Post reports. (RELATED: Colorado Heisman Trophy Winner Rashaan Salaam Dies At Age 42)

Salaam was found dead outside his girlfriend’s car at a park in Boulder, Colorado on December 5. The autopsy found Salaam had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.25 at the time of his death. He also had 55 nanograms per milliliter of THC in his system, according to The Denver Post.

The former Colorado University great won the Heisman Trophy in his junior year with the Buffaloes. Salaam broke a handful of school records that season and won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back.

The Colorado standout was drafted 21st overall in the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears following his Heisman-winning season. His success continued when he rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns earning him NFC Rookie of the Year honors in 1995. His NFL career then came to an unfortunate end after being plagued by ankle and knee injuries.

Running back Rashaan Salaam #31 of the Chicago Bears tries to run around Brian Williams #51 of the Green Bay Packers during the Bears 38-24 loss at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport Getty Images)

(Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport Getty Images)

Salaam admitted in 1999, “that marijuana use contributed to his problems in Chicago,” according to ESPN. “It probably had me out there lackadaisical instead of going out there 100 percent.”

The running back broke his leg early in his 1997 season, “and said that injury increased his addiction.” His bounced around the NFL on several different teams and practice squads before his career in football came to a close.

Ford Springer

Contributor

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