CHENEY, Wash. — George Becker, the freshman offensive lineman that Eastern Washington University confirmed died over winter break, died by suicide, his former high school said in a letter.
According to a letter from Gridley High School, which Becker attended, Becker's cause of death was suicide.
"The Gridley Unified School community was saddened to learn of the apparent suicide of one of our former students, George Becker. The death of any young person is a loss which, in one way or another, diminishes each of us. The tragic circumstances of George’s death is perhaps more shocking and more difficult to accept," the letter begins.
The school said it would be providing counselors for students in the wake of the news.
EWU Athletics Spokesman Dave Meany told KREM Sports Director Brenna Greene that Becker died during winter break.
"Eastern Washington University is saddened to learn of the death of George Becker, a freshman offensive lineman on the football team, over the winter break. The whole Eagle family extends its deepest sympathies and support to the Becker family," Meany said in a statement.
EWU head football coach Aaron Best released a statement on Tuesday night, saying Becker was loved by his teammates.
"We are extremely saddened by the loss of a great person, family member, teammate and friend. George touched many along his journey and he was loved by them all. Rest in Peace George, we love you," Best said.
Becker, 18, played high school football at Gridley High School in Gridley, California. He wore No. 59 for the Eagles. He also competed in rodeo for four years in high school.
"With a heavy heart GHS Football mourns the loss of one of our own, George Becker. He was truly one of the finest young men to have graced the halls and field here at GHS. Our sincere thoughts and prayers go to the extended family and the Becker's - Clark, Kourtney, Jack, and Charlie who all hold a special place with Bulldog football," GHS Football wrote on Facebook.
"We love you and will miss you George!" they added.