February 26, 2001 - by
Florida State Community And Darling Family Left In Shock

Feb. 26, 2001


By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State linebacker Devaughn Darling collapsed
and died Monday after an early morning workout.

The 18-year-old linebacker from Houston was stricken shortly after 7 a.m. He
had just finished intensive agility and conditioning drills with teammates,
including his twin brother Devard, at the football complex.

The cause of death was not immediately determined. An autopsy, requested by
school police, will be done Tuesday.

“This is standard procedure in a death of this nature,” Lt. Jack Handley
said of the autopsy request. “We’re currently doing the death investigation.”

Devard Darling, coach Bobby Bowden and other players and coaches were at the
hospital when the player was pronounced dead by an emergency room physician.

“Obviously it’s a very emotional time for everyone associated with our
program,” athletic director David Hart said. “We’re all in a state of
shock.”

Bowden was spending the rest of the day with the Darling family.

“Right now we’re all pretty dazed,” Bowden said. “I think all of our
thoughts, prayers and wishes should be with his mom, his dad, his twin brother
and all of the family members.”

The school deployed about 10 counselors and team chaplain Clint Purvis to
meet with teammates. Many were still sobbing several hours later as they talked
in disbelief.

“Tragedies are never something you get through very easily,” Hart said.
“We will continue to focus on our players first and foremost.”

The Garnet and Gold souvenir store near the campus already had changed its
sign to read: “Devaughn Darling, We Miss You.”

Florida State athletes receive a physical that includes an EKG when they
report for football practice in the summer, spokesman Rob Wilson said.

Devaughn Darling, one of the youngest players on the team, started on
special teams last season as a freshman. He was to begin spring practice next
week as a starter at outside linebacker.

He was credited with 11 tackles in seven games during the season, including
two solo stops against Clemson.

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