ORONO (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- A form of heart condition or heart problem caused the death of the 18-year-old University of Maine football player who passed out and died during a workout in late July.
Maine's state medical examiner ruled Tuesday that Darius Minor's death was caused by "acute aortic dissection with cardiac tamponade with hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor," an office administer said. The manner of his death was ruled "natural."
Minor, a 6-foot, 170-pound defensive back, was one of 17 freshmen participating in a light supervised practice on July 24 at the University of Maine. The team hit the field around 1 p.m., ready to run drills in t-shirts and shorts on a humid day where temperatures in Orono hovered in the low 80s.
Around 1:15 p.m., players had just completed a round of sled pushes — a strength exercise that involves pushing a weighted sled — and were taking a water break when Minor tapped the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Jon Lynch, on the shoulder and said he felt like he was going to pass out, according to head coach Joe Harasymiak, who was out-of-state during the practice.
His death is believed to be the first UMaine football player to die during a workout since the program began in 1896.
The Black Bears kick off their season at home Thursday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m., against the New Hampshire Wildcats.