James Dungy suicide, Jessica James found, suicide prevention

lonely-football.previewfootballEarlier this morning it was announced that James Dungy, Tony Dungy’s son, may have committed suicide in his apartment at Campus Lodge Apartments. He was found unconscious by his girlfriend, Jessica James. Emergency action was taken, but he was pronounced dead at University Community Hospital. James Dungy was 18 years old and attended Hillsborough Community College where he studied criminal justice technology.

Tony Dungy left Indianapolis this morning to travel to Tampa Bay on the Indianapolis Colts team plane. While he hasn’t made any public comments, his current team, the Indianapolis Colts, and his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spoken.

Peyton Manning, the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts summed up the feelings of the team, “Players were surprised and upset emotionally about it Everybody said a team prayer for coach Dungy and his family. It’s laying on the hearts of all the players here today.”

Monte Kiffin, defense coordinator of Dungy’s previous team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said, “It shakes you, there’s no doubt about it. Tony and I first came together in 1992 and I got to see the boy grow up. … Tony’s got tremendous faith, and that’s what will carry Tony through.”

Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts, has given Tony Dungy all the time he needs to deal with this tragedy. He explained, “I met with the staff and with the players this morning in line with Tony’s wishes. Our predetermined plan: Jim Caldwell will take over Tony’s duties for however long Tony may be away, and however long Tony is away is entirely up to him.”

There seemed to be no apparent warning signs that James Dungy was contemplating suicide, though he had recently contacted a former girlfriend. He told her that he felt as if he couldn’t talk to anyone.

Although we’ve covered suicide prevention before, it bears repeating. The St. Petersburg Times has an excellent article discussing suicide warning signs.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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