An unidentified man died while taking part in the traditional Mirror Lake jump before Ohio State's game against Michigan.
Mirror Lake is a pond on campus and students traditionally jump into the lake in the week before the Buckeyes take on the Wolverines. This year's Mirror Lake jump was held on Tuesday night, and according to the university, the man who died was a student. According to the school's statement, Ohio State would like to end the tradition because of its dangers.
"We are heartbroken over this horrible tragedy," OSU President Michael Drake said in a statement. "We have tentatively identified the young man as a student and are in the process of reaching out to his family. During this difficult time, counseling services will be made available throughout the holiday weekend for those who seek support."
The university released another statement Wednesday afternoon calling for the end of the cold-weather tradition that finds hundreds, if not thousands, of OSU students donning swimsuits and T-shirts to plunge into the cold water as a campus bonding experience centered around Ohio State's football rivalry week.
"In spite of significant efforts taken to make this event a safer one, this tragedy has occurred," read the statement. "We must come together and acknowledge while this is a student-led tradition that has been passed down through the years, we cannot risk another tragedy. University leadership strongly agrees that we will work with our campus community to end this annual event."
The tradition started in 1990 and has grown substantially over the past 25 years. From the Ohio State site:
Mirror Lake is also the scene of the annual Michigan Week Mirror Lake jump. The jump is said to evoke the spirit of former football coach Woody Hayes to lead the Buckeyes on to victory versus archrival Michigan. The first Mirror Lake jump began in 1990 with less than 100 people making the first celebratory plunge. Although this is not a university sanctioned event, thousands of students choose to jump into Mirror Lake every year.
Per the Dispatch, the university has increased regulation of the event in recent years. The school had medical personnel at the event and he was tended to shortly after his jump per a video by The Lantern.
Ohio State plays at Michigan at Noon ET on Saturday.
For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.
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