An Ohio State student from Bellbrook died Wednesday during the school’s annual “lake jump” into Mirror Lake as part of the pre-game ritual for Michigan week.
Austin Singletary, 22, had a cardiac emergency after jumping into the water, Columbus police said.
In response, the school Wednesday said it would work to ban the annual tradition.
“He was a very lovable and likable person,” Jeffrey Mims, a Dayton City Commissioner, said of Singletary, who he said he has known virtually his whole life.
“A great young man from a great family,” Mims said. “Their hearts are broken.”
Singletary was a 2012 graduate from Bellbrook High School.
“Please keep the friends and family of Austin Singletary ‘12 in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Bellbrook High School tweeted Wednesday.
Mims said Singletary went through his mentor program — which provides guidance to young African American males.
“I have certain disciplines for them (the mentees) — every time they make a mistake, things like push-ups,” Mims said. “He was very playful, and I remember he had the award for doing the most push-ups.”
Singletary was majoring in human nutrition at OSU, with a minor in business management. The university says he previously studied at Columbus State Community College.
Mims said Singletary was on a path for success; the last time they spoke he said he was hoping to become a chef.
Singletary was involved in campus activities at OSU, including volunteering as a mentor at Eastgate Elementary School in Columbus. He helped students with both academic and behavioral issues.
In a statement, OSU President Michael Drake wrote, “I know that the thoughts and prayers of all of us are with his family and loved ones. During this difficult time, counseling services will be made available throughout the holiday weekend for those who seek support.”
Drake said the tragedy occurred despite the school’s efforts to make the annual event safer. He said university leaders will work with the campus community to end the student-led activity.
The OSU Wexner Medical Center treated about a dozen other students after the jump, according to the Columbus Dispatch. That’s in line with how many it typically treats after the event.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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