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Kent State '54' helmets to honor deceased teammate

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State coach Paul Haynes says players grieving the death of center Jason Bitsko plan to honor him by wearing his number 54 on their helmets this season.

Kent-State-Player-Dea Sidd

In this Aug. 2014, photo provided by Kent State University, Jason Bitsko poses during football photo day in Kent, Ohio. Kent State says Bitsko has died and that police believe he passed away from an undetermined medical issue. He was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Kent State University)

The 21-year-old Bitsko was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment on Wednesday morning. The school says police believe he passed away from an undetermined medical issue.

Haynes said Thursday that Bitsko's death is a tragic loss and that his players will get through the situation together.

Bitsko was in his fourth year with the Golden Flashes and was slated to start at center. He started all 12 games in 2013.

The school has said it is providing counseling services and support to student-athletes and athletic staff.

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