A service program for late Georgia Tech football player Brandon Adams is displayed before a memorial service at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, Monday, March 25, 2019. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

Details emerge regarding death of Georgia Tech’s Brandon Adams

Georgia Tech football player Brandon Adams was practicing “step dancing” — or stepping — with friends when he collapsed and hit his head late Saturday night, according to an Atlanta police report, leading to the death of the popular Yellow Jackets player that has stunned the team and fan base.

According to the report, friends of Adams told Georgia Tech police that they were practicing stepping in the garage area of a townhouse near Tech’s campus when they took a water break, which is when Adams fell backward and hit his head. After going into convulsions, he began to foam at the mouth.

He was taken by friends to Emory University Hospital Midtown — hospital personnel told police that he was alive when he arrived — and was later pronounced dead. The report further stated that Adams’ passing appeared to be natural, that there was no apparent foul play involved.

Stepping is a dance form common among African-American fraternities and sororities. The fraternity Omega Psi Phi acknowledged to Channel 2 Action News earlier this week that Adams was a candidate to join the fraternity. On Sunday, the organization suspended its “Membership Selection Process” and social activities without explanation. Two messages left Friday with the fraternity and another with its attorney were not returned.

The GBI performed an autopsy on Adams on Monday, but determined that more tests, including toxicology, were needed to determine the cause and manner of death.

Atlanta police issued a statement with the report to the AJC:

“Nothing in Mr. Adams’ autopsy by the GBI on Monday pointed to foul play and we have no evidence right now to merit a criminal investigation. Witnesses have told our investigators that Adams had been participating in a dance routine when he collapsed suddenly. The Department is awaiting toxicology and other lab results being tested by the GBI following the autopsy to determine our next step.”

According to the GBI website, the agency uses toxicology tests “to establish whether traces of alcohol, drugs or points are present, and if so, in what quantity.” It may be several weeks before the tests are completed.

A rising senior for the Jackets team known for his smile and bear hugs and who held considerable promise as a defensive tackle, the 21-year-old Adams was mourned in a memorial on Monday evening at McCamish Pavilion. A funeral for Adams, from Brentwood, Tenn., also will be held Saturday in Nashville.

Staff writer Eric Stirgus contributed to this article.

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