Autopsy: Football player died from heart problem, not heat

An autopsy finds that a 15-year-old Georgia high school football player died from an “abnormal heart rhythm” and not heat-related illness

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones tell The Telegraph of Macon that the autopsy by a Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner found Joshua Ivory Jr. died July 26 of cardiac dysrhythmia, which triggered “sudden cardiac arrest.”

Jones said Ivory suffered from an “abnormal heart rhythm that sent him into cardiac arrest.”

Georgia rules call for a five-day period for players to get used to heat and physical exertion while practicing in shorts and helmets. Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones said the school took extra precautions beyond those required. The district reviewed its rules after Ivory’s death. Macon reached a high of 97 degrees (36 degrees Celsius) before the practice started.

Southwest High head coach Joe Dupree was placed on administrative leave in August while school officials investigated, but was reinstated less than a week later.

“It’s good to get the results back, but this is still a sad day because a family has lost a loved one,” Jones said. “Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Joshua Ivory.”

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