TULSA, Okla. -- Former Tulsa linebacker George Clinkscale
died Wednesday after taking part in an unsanctioned boxing match.
He was 24.
Joe Miller, director of the Oklahoma State Athletic
Commission, said Thursday that Clinkscale took part in the bout
late Wednesday at a Tulsa-area church. Miller says witnesses
described Clinkscale becoming ill during the fight and he was taken
to a local hospital, where he died.
Clinkscale, who was a linebacker for the Golden Hurricane from
2005 to 2009, was billed as the main event at Fight Night VI sponsored
by GUTS Church.
Miller says the results of the OSAC's investigation
will be turned over to the state attorney general's office because
the event was not sanctioned.
"It's an illegal event, it's not sanctioned by the
commission," Miller said. "They're running outside the law."
Miller said if the event had been sanctioned, there would have
several experts on hand, such as qualified referees, medics and
"I really hope this opens up some eyes," Miller said.
Coaches remembered Clinkscale for his achievements on and off
"George was much too young to be taken from us. He was an
extremely passionate and bright young man who will be greatly
missed and long remembered by his teammates and coaches," Tulsa coach
Bill Blankenship said. "The thing I was most excited about in
George's life right now was how tremendously excited he was to be a
father. He was passionate about working as a football coach and how
much he could make a difference with those young men. It's a tragic
loss for all of us."
Pittsburgh coach Todd Graham, who recruited Clinkscale while he
was still coach at Tulsa, called his former recruit "one of the
most passionate young men I've ever met."
"Although it is a sad day, we can find comfort and hope knowing
that George is in a better place because of his strong faith,"
At Tulsa, Clinkscale played and started all 12 games as a senior
in 2009 and was credited with 34 tackles. He earned his degree in
exercise sports science.