Alabama-Birmingham football player Allen Merrick dies after shooting


    Alabama-Birmingham football player Allen Merrick died after an accidental shooting in his hometown of Gadsen, Alabama. He was 19.

    USA Today Sports’ Paul Myerberg and Dan Wolken explain why postponing the college football season to the spring is not as easy as it sounds.


    Allen Merrick, a freshman linebacker at Alabama-Birmingham, has died Friday morning from a gunshot wound suffered Thursday in his home town of Gadsden, Alabama. He was 19.

    Gadsden Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Marcus Hill confirmed the death. Hill said at this time, all indications are that the shooting was accidental.

    Police Capt. Scott Lumpkin had confirmed Thursday that a young man had been seriously injured in what police believed to be an accidental shooting. The police did not release names of those involved in the incident.

    “Please pray for the family of Allen Merrick, a young man who joined our UAB Football Family this season,” Alabama-Birmingham coach Bill Clark said in a statement, issued prior to reports that Merrick had succumbed to his injury.

    “Allen was visiting home in Gadsden yesterday when he suffered a gunshot wound,” Clark said. “He is at UAB Hospital where I’ve been with Allen’s family, but I do not have a condition I can share at this time.

    “I ask that everyone please respect his family’s privacy and keep them all in your prayers,” he said.

    “It’s just tragic,” Gadsden City Schools Superintendent Tony Reddick said. He learned of the incident, which involved at least one other Gadsen City High School student, at about 1 p.m. Thursday.

    He said Merrick had a “very promising athletic and educational career,” and what happened was heartbreaking.

    Reddick said he understood Merrick was home for a doctor’s appointment, and was with friends when “something happened.”


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