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GBI: Southwest player died of heart problem, not heat

15-year-old Joshua Ivory Jr. died shortly after collapsing at football practice in late July.

BIBB COUNTY, Ga. — The July death of a Southwest High School football player was not caused by the heat, according to Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones.

He says GBI medical examiners found Joshua Ivory Jr.'s death was caused by an irregular heartbeat.

Jones says the exact cause of death was cardiac dysrhythmia -- in laymen’s terms, an abnormal heart rhythm which led to sudden cardiac arrest.

He says the medical examiners concluded that the heat could not have caused Ivory's condition.

The rising sophomore collapsed during practice on July 26 and died about an hour later at a Macon hospital. The heat index that night in Macon was around 105 degrees.

After Ivory's death, the Bibb County School District placed both Southwest Coach Joe Dupree and Offensive Coordinator Robert Cummings on administrative leave while the school investigated the death.

The Bibb County School District released the following statement:

“It’s good to get the results back, but this is still a sad day, because a family has lost a loved one. Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Joshua Ivory,” said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones.


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