Bobby Roundtree, a former Illinois football player who was paralysed from the waist down in a swimming accident two years ago, has reportedly died aged 23.
The University of Illinois said on Friday that the death of the former defensive end had "shocked and saddened” everyone at the institution, and that from "his first day on campus, Bobby was a leader.”
Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said of the Florida native: “His work ethic, competitive fire, and drive for excellence set him apart. In the face of incredible adversity, he demonstrated he was, and always will remain, a true champion”.
He died in the Tampa area where he was living. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Additional reporting by Reuters.