Reporter dies after catching pneumonia at OSU/UofM game

ESPN reporter Edward Aschoff dies of pneumonia on 34th birthday

Jack Baer

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor

Yahoo SportsDecember 24, 2019, 9:42 PM EST

Edward Aschoff was 34. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ESPN college football reporter Edward Aschoff died Tuesday after an extended battle with pneumonia, the company announced on Twitter. It was his 34th birthday.

Lake City Reporter’s Zach Abolverdi, who called Aschoff a friend and mentor, initially broke the news.


Zach Abolverdi :heavy_check_mark: @ZachAbolverdi

Devastated to hear my friend @AschoffESPN has passed away after a battle with pneumonia.

Ed was a big reason I decided to pursue journalism. He took me under his wing at the Sun and I’m forever grateful.

Incredible reporter and an even better person. You will be missed!

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According to ESPN, Aschoff began working for the company in 2011 as an SEC reporter based in Atlanta and moved to Los Angeles in 2017 to take on a national role that included television work. The Oxford, Miss. native graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 and worked as a recruiting reporter for The Gainesville Sun before joining ESPN.

Aschoff had posted earlier in the month that he contracted the pneumonia while working the Ohio State-Michigan game at the end of the college football regular season. He also tweeted that he had a virus for two weeks prior, which later turned into multifocal pneumonia.

The news of Aschoff’s death led to a torrent of tributes from the college football and ESPN community, as well as condolences to his family and fiancee, Katy. They were reportedly scheduled to marry in New Orleans in April.


Rob King@ESPN_RobKing

Our friend Ed Aschoff, lovingly remembered by so many on this heartbreaking day, was a ray of light. He smiled with his entire being, loved his fiancée and family, and brought joy to the job. I hope you knew him, too.

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8:53 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Antonio Morales :heavy_check_mark: @AntonioCMorales

Clay Helton opened the press conference today with some words about Ed Aschoff: “Very, very sad. Very surprising. Wish nothing but the best his family. Our condolences go out. He was nothing but first class to this organization and always to me. Ed, you’ll be missed.”

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9:11 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Bruce Feldman :heavy_check_mark: @BruceFeldmanCFB

Devastated about Ed Aschoff’s passing. One of the kindest, warm-hearted people I’ve ever met. And, if you were lucky enough to have gotten to know him, there’s no question you feel that way too… God, he will be missed.

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8:33 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Kevin Sumlin :heavy_check_mark: @CoachSumlin

I am shocked and saddened about the passing of @AschoffESPN .
2 young.
2 soon.
2 talented.

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12:49 AM - Dec 25, 2019

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Nicole Auerbach :heavy_check_mark: @NicoleAuerbach

This is absolutely devastating news. Praying for Ed’s family. I can’t believe this. https://twitter.com/zachabolverdi/status/1209628754638708742 …


Zach Abolverdi :heavy_check_mark: @ZachAbolverdi
Devastated to hear my friend @AschoffESPN has passed away after a battle with pneumonia.
Ed was a big reason I decided to pursue journalism. He took me under his wing at the Sun and I’m forever grateful.
Incredible reporter and an even better person. You will be missed!
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7:52 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Jeff Borzello :heavy_check_mark: @jeffborzello

Ed was one of the brightest young talents at ESPN, but more importantly, he was just an awesome guy to be around. Never saw him without a smile, never talked to him without leaving in a better mood. So sad and tragic. Thoughts and prayers are with his family. https://twitter.com/jksports/status/1209655385168261126 …


Josh Krulewitz@jksports
Statement from ESPN: “We are very sorry to have to share the devastating news of the tragic passing of friend and ESPN colleague Edward Aschoff. He died earlier today, his 34th birthday. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his fiancée Katy.”

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9:12 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Jovan Buha :heavy_check_mark: @jovanbuha

Shook by this news today. 💔 We were just texting a few weeks ago. You were one of the nicest people I met at ESPN. Always loved our talks. Your future was so bright. You were a star in the making. Gonna miss you brother. Rest in paradise @AschoffESPN ♥️

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9:04 PM - Dec 24, 2019 · Agoura Hills, CA

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Barrett Sallee :heavy_check_mark: @BarrettSallee

This was the morning after the Kick Six. I remember this moment like it was yesterday. Ed Aschoff was one of the best guys on the planet. He will be missed by so many people. RIP. https://twitter.com/aschoffespn/status/407162627144822784 …


Edward Aschoff :heavy_check_mark: @AschoffESPN
Lasting image from last night? @BarrettSallee and me looking at each other with nothing to say during post game because of what we just saw

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BUM CHILLUPS@edsbs

Ed was pure sunshine and I don’t know anyone who loved his people harder. I’m devastated. https://twitter.com/zachabolverdi/status/1209628754638708742 …


Zach Abolverdi :heavy_check_mark: @ZachAbolverdi
Devastated to hear my friend @AschoffESPN has passed away after a battle with pneumonia.
Ed was a big reason I decided to pursue journalism. He took me under his wing at the Sun and I’m forever grateful.
Incredible reporter and an even better person. You will be missed!
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8:01 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Kyle Bonagura :heavy_check_mark: @BonaguraESPN

Edward Aschoff was one of my closest friends. He was was one the most genuine, enthusiastic, personable people I’ve ever and he made the world a better place.

Today is unspeakably sad and I’m devastated for Katy and his family.

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9:30 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Ramona Shelburne :heavy_check_mark: @ramonashelburne

This is devastating. Ed was such a bright light in everything he did. ❤️🙏🏻 to his family. https://twitter.com/zachabolverdi/status/1209628754638708742 …


Zach Abolverdi :heavy_check_mark: @ZachAbolverdi
Devastated to hear my friend @AschoffESPN has passed away after a battle with pneumonia.
Ed was a big reason I decided to pursue journalism. He took me under his wing at the Sun and I’m forever grateful.
Incredible reporter and an even better person. You will be missed!
View image on Twitter

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9:09 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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Travis Haney :heavy_check_mark: @travhaney

Destroyed to learn of Ed Aschoff’s passing. I loved his joyful spirit, his stubborn opinions and his affection for VERY random teams.

Will never forget him wearing a Gordon Bombay sweater to a Preds-Ducks game in 2017.

This is awful. The world was a better place with Ed in it.

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Kevin Negandhi :heavy_check_mark: @KNegandhiESPN

· 19h

Man… This is devastating. And today is Ed’s birthday. He was a good man. Loved talking about the biz, college football and his Gators. He will be missed by so many people. I can’t believe this. Life is so precious. Say a prayer for him and his family. https://twitter.com/zachabolverdi/status/1209628754638708742 …


Zach Abolverdi :heavy_check_mark: @ZachAbolverdi
Devastated to hear my friend @AschoffESPN has passed away after a battle with pneumonia.
Ed was a big reason I decided to pursue journalism. He took me under his wing at the Sun and I’m forever grateful.
Incredible reporter and an even better person. You will be missed!
View image on Twitter


Adrian Wojnarowski :heavy_check_mark: @wojespn

Devastating news. Ed was a bright light in our corner of the world: Smart, talented and gracious. Condolences to his family and friends.

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8:36 PM - Dec 24, 2019

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More from Yahoo Sports:

“catch pneumonia”? I’m no doc but, I don’t think you can ‘catch’ it… Unless you write ‘pnemonia’ on a football with a sharpie.

Maybe caught something that lead to pneumonia or did something stupid that lead to it.

Really, really sad. Thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.

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Many forms of pneumonia are contagious as most are as a result of bacterial microbes.
https://www.medicinenet.com/is_pneumonia_contagious/article.htm#is_pneumonia_contagious
Many contagious pneumonias have names, such as bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia, and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ) pneumonia

My sincere condolences to his family and friends and colleagues

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Did the game have anything to do with it?

Ok. Didn’t realize that. I know a few who past from pneumonia. All had underlying illnesses that lead to bed rest and eventually pneumonia.

Probably no more than just being confined with 115,000 other people. I don’t want to turn anyone into a Howard Hughes level germaphobe, but stuff like this happens. Bernie Mac wasn’t old or infirm when he died from pneumonia either. I feel so bad for this guys family, especially his fiancé who was going to marry him in 2020.

Jim Henson was only 54 and thought to be in otherwise fine health when he passed from bacterial pneumonia.

But 34 years old? That’s especially shocking and tragic. Engaged to married as well and passed away on his birthday which happens to be Christmas Eve. Just tears my heart out to think about what his fiancé is going through. Seems that he was an A+ human being who touched a lot of lives in his way too brief life.

I wouldn’t say that considering his Sarcoidosis, but yeah … just turning 34 myself definitely makes me wonder.

Yeah. Seems with Bernie Mac that his affliction had been targeting his lungs so I would assume he was at higher risk when it comes to pneumonia.

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People who die young from an infection of one form or another always have another condition that would lead to them having some sort of suppressed immune system. Normal healthy individuals with properly functioning immune systems do not die from catching cold viruses or rarely from bacterial infections. Some people have an underlying, non-diagnosed condition and don’t know about it until they do die of an infection.

I don’t know much about pneumonia myself. I just found it odd how they kind of worded it to make it seem like it was the game that killed him. Its clear by his bio he was a southern boy thru and thru, so that would have been outside of his normal temperature range at that game…but still.

There are still people who believe you can catch pneumonia because you go outside with your hair wet when its cold outside. My Mom still believes it! You guys are on the right track though.

Pneumonia is caused by an outside agent. Its not the cold air that will kill you, its the germs floating in it thanks to someone in the area. The reason you are more likely to contract pneumonia in cold weather has nothing to do with the cold air itself, the cold air means more people stay inside, now you are in a concentrated area with a lot of people carrying bacteria/germs/viruses, and that enclosed warm space is a perfect incubator for germs and then you get exposed.

Golden Lions is also right. For a 34 year old to contract pneumonia and die in todays era of medicine, in 3 weeks, something else was going on. He may have been diagnosed with pneumonia around the Michigan-OSU game, but could have been sick beforehand and thought it a cold or something. He may have had an unknown pre-existing condition that exacerbated his pneumonia and turned it into a super bug. Whatever it was, even modern medicine doesnt have all the answers all the time. Something went very wrong, and its terribly sad. I remember him doing the game. I hope the people involved with treating him can learn something, and use that to prevent someone else’s death. I hope his family and fiance can find some peace. Christmas was a reminder of the guys birthday, and now it will forever mean something different for those who knew him.

Wondering how anyone can prove that he “caught” pneumonia at the game. Like, how do they know it wasn’t the day prior, 3 days prior, 2 days later, etc.

Exactly. Or 2-3 days after. Most people are already sick before symptoms begin. If you start feeling sick on Wednesday, chances are you were infected 3-5 days prior, and some illnesses can sit dormant in your system for years and not break out until your immune system is compromised. The human body is a crazy piece of machinery. Just for the science, Id love to know the real story of what happened. Ultimately though, it doesnt matter. Someone died, and a bunch of people are now missing a loved one. The doctors hopefully will gain a little knowledge or insight for next time this happens

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