UB football player Solomon Jackson died Monday night, one week after suffering a medical emergency during a team conditioning session, the university announced Tuesday morning.
Jackson was a redshirt sophomore defensive end from Stone Mountain, Georgia and was in his junior year academically as a sociology major. He was 20 years old.
Jackson’s emergency occurred at the North Amherst Recreation Center – about five miles from North Campus – on the morning of Feb. 22, and he had been hospitalized at Buffalo General Medical Center ever since.
UB has cited the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as to why it cannot release Jackson’s health information or cause of death, and Michael Hughes, Buffalo General spokesperson, said Jackson’s family has declined to release his cause of death.
Several former teammates and coaches said Jackson did not have a known pre-existing health condition.
They also said Jackson had been in a coma since the incident at practice.
The Spectrum obtained the police report of the incident via a Freedom of Information Law request to Amherst Police. The heavily redacted report says a call was made from the recreation center at 7:51 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 22. about a 21-year-old down on the field.
UB Athletics did not make football players and coaches available for comment on Tuesday, but head coach Lance Leipold did release a statement about Jackson Tuesday afternoon. He called Jackson a “Godly” man who had great values instilled in him by his parents Steve and Jakkii.
“Solomon was the epitome of what you want in a college student-athlete,” Leipold said.
Athletic Director Allen Greene, who with President Satish Tripathi visited Jackson and his family at Buffalo General last week, gave his condolences to Jackson’s family in a statement announcing Jackson’s death Tuesday morning. He said UB will share information when it becomes available
Buffalo General personnel told The Spectrum on the night of Feb. 22 that Jackson was in critical condition. Buffalo General would then not give an update on Jackson’s condition throughout the week, as Hughes said Jackson’s family had respectfully declined to release any information.
Many friends and teammates, both current and former, of Jackson’s took to social media Tuesday to express their grief for Jackson’s death. Many used the hashtag #ForeverABull to honor Jackson.
There was also a moment of silence held before Tuesday night’s men’s basketball game in Jackson’s honor. UB Athletics passed around signs with the number 41, Jackson’s number for the Bulls, along with the words “Forever a Bull, RIP Solomon Jackson.”
UB Athletics held a private service to pray for Jackson’s recovery at a church located a few miles off North Campus on the night of Feb. 25, but did not allow media inside. Many football players, coaches and athletics administrators were in attendance.
Jackson appeared in all 12 games for the Bulls last season, and registered 13 tackles and two sacks.
This story has been updated to include new information, including The Spectrum obtaining the police report of Jackson's emergency.