116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Former Iowa Hawkeyes football player Tyler Sash, a two-time first-team all-Big Ten safety in 2009-10, has died, the state medical examiner's office confirmed.
According to the Oskaloosa Police Department, on Tuesday around 10 a.m. emergency services responded to 719 Fox Run Drive in reference to an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, it was determined the male subject was deceased and after further investigation the male was identified as Tyler Jordan Sash, 27, of Oskaloosa.
Sash's death is under investigation by the Oskaloosa Police Department, Mahaska County Coroner and State Medical Examiner's Office. No foul play is suspected.
An autopsy will be performed Wednesday by the State Medical Examiner's Office and more information will be available after the autopsy.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz postponed his Tuesday news conference due to 'a private issue regarding the Iowa football program, unrelated to game preparation.' Ferentz will meet the media 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.
'We are all very saddened to hear about the untimely loss of Tyler,' Ferentz said in a statement. 'It is always so difficult when it involves someone this young. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to Tyler's family during this extremely difficult time – and we want them to know they are not in this alone.
'The commitment, passion, and excitement that Tyler brought to football and to life will always endear him to Hawkeye coaches, teammates, and fans. He touched our hearts in many ways and will be missed by all of us.'
During his time at Iowa, Sash showed a sharp sense of humor and relentless competitive spirit.
In the 2009 Iowa-Iowa State game at Jack Trice Stadium, Sash picked off three passes and the Hawkeyes ran away from ISU, 35-3.
In the north end zone, a group of ISU fans wore T-shirts that read 'Sash is Trash.' They called him out as he walked toward Iowa's locker room. Sash noticed and walked over.
Not good. Someone call Jack Trice Stadium security. Quick. Actually, it turned out to be a group from Oskaloosa who were friends with Sash.
'Yeah, I think people were pretty confused by that whole situation,' Iowa State senior Nick Anderson said.
Actually, the 'Sash is Trash' was an old idea. The shirt started showing up when Sash did his thing in football and basketball at Oskaloosa High School. There it was again, this time at Iowa State.
'We kind of keep telling him that (the 'Sash is Trash' theme) just to keep him levelheaded,' said Anderson an Oskaloosa grad and accounting and finance major at ISU. 'Not that he isn't, but we like to put him in his place a little bit when he's around all of us from high school.'
Sash left Iowa with a year of eligibility remaining and was a sixth-round NFL draft pick to the New York Giants in 2011. He had 17 tackles and one forced fumble as rookie and special teams star with the Giants, who won the Super Bowl that season.
Many wondered if Sash made the right decision by leaving Iowa early. Sash, a devout Christian, kind of did, too, in this pre-Super Bowl interview.
'Being from the state of Iowa,' Sash said, 'you want to play for the state of Iowa. I probably would have been one of the captains on the team as a senior. I had the chance to stay, but at the same time, I always say NFL means Not For Long.
'It was a long and hard thought, but my heart led me down the right path. Obviously, I'm here at the Super Bowl. God had a plan for me and it's to be here in Indianapolis.
'I started the year off at Indy in the (NFL) Combine, and now I'm finishing the year off at Indy in the Super Bowl. So it's been a heck of a year.'
Sash was cut by the Giants after the 2012 season, a season in which he began under a four-game suspension for using adderall.
'I took a prescription drug (Adderall) legally under a doctor's care for an anxiety condition during the off-season in March of this year,' Sash said in a statement. 'The purpose was to help me with public speaking appearances,' Sash said in a statement. 'I had no idea that this prescription drug was banned by NFL policy. Although I take full responsibility for this situation, I also want to state that I have never cheated or taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I frown on those who do.'
In May 2014, Sash was arrested in his Oskaloosa, his hometown, after drunkenly fleeing from police on a scooter and resisting arrest.
Later in 2014, Sash was regular on a Des Moines TV sports show on WOI-TV, the ABC affiliate.
Sash enjoyed style. Before into the NFL draft, he posed for an ESPN The Magazine fashion shoot. He also opened a sneaker store in West Des Moines in 2013.
Sash started final 34 games of career and had 37 career starts. He was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award following each season. He earned Associated Press third team All-America honors in 2009 and was named to several freshman All-America squads in 2008.
He ranks fifth in career interceptions with 13 and holds Iowa career record and ranks fourth all-time in the Big Ten Conference with 392 interception return yards. His 86-yard touchdown against Indiana in 2009 ranks as fifth longest interception return in school history.
Sash tied Iowa single-game record with three pass interceptions in 35-3 win at Iowa State in 2009 and set Iowa bowl records for longest interception return (48 yards) and interception return yards in a game (74) in 2009 Outback Bowl win over South Carolina, along with tying Iowa bowl record with two interceptions. Sash ranks 51st in career tackles with 217 at Iowa. He concluded his Iowa career with 217 tackles and was twice a member of the UI Leadership Group.