HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The Rice University community is in shock after learning the cause of death for Owls defensive end Blain Padgett was an overdose on one of the most powerful known opioids.
David Bailiff, the former head football coach at Rice University, who coached Padgett, spoke with FOX 26 News about how these tragedies are preventable.
“I mean, you’re talking about a young man who has one of the greatest mom and dads in the world that raise that young man right, and yet he’s capable of going out and making this type of decision," said Bailiff. "I think the more we can educate the masses on what opioid abuse is and what it can do to you, I mean, do you even know what you’re taking?”
Padgett, 21, was found dead in his apartment unit on March 2 after missing his team's morning workout. The Owls defensive end was a junior at Rice University. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences determined the cause of Padgett's death as toxic effects of Carfentanil.
How much was in his system is not known at this time, but it doesn’t take much as Carfentanil is one of the most potent opioids. It is a tranquilizer that’s around 10,000 times more powerful than Morphine.
Bailiff told FOX 26 that these tragedies are preventable, not only with education, but with stricter drug testing in colleges.
“It’s one where we decreased it," explained Bailiff. "We need to be a lot more aggressive with it, you know. I think it takes a good drug testing policy. It takes all the peer pressure of the young people, you know. If they know they’re going to be drug tested, they have the ability to say no. Say I’m going to be drug tested, I could lose a scholarship.”
Rice University issued the following statement:
The Rice community was deeply saddened by the loss of Blain Padgett. Out of respect for Blain and his family, we will not discuss personal or private matters. His family, teammates and friends continue to have our deepest condolences."
Now, everyone has to come to terms that the young man with a promising football career is now the victim of a drug overdose.
"He was a great kid," added Bailiff. "He would’ve played in the NFL for a number of years if that’s what he wanted to do. You know he made this world and Rice University a better place.”