Death of WVU Football Player

Wheeling Register
November 13, 1910

Tragedy Marks Game of College Elevens

Player Emerges Stricken and Unconscious from Scrimmage - Taken to Hospital where Death Followed several hours later - Slugging Duel between Munk and McCoy alleged

Coroner Rogers Begins Inquest To Determine Cause of Death

The Tragic Sequel of Football Game for the West Virginia Collegiate Championship Casts a Pall over City - Players talk of the Events Leading up to the Tragedy

Rudolph Munk, captain and left half back on the West Virginia University team, died at 8:15 o'clock last evening at the City hospital, following his injury in the Bethany game at the Island park yesterday afternoon, at about two minutes before the close of the contest. When Munk failed to rise on the field, Dr. O. M. Staats was at once summoned. The doctor gave the player a general stimulant, an injection of strychnine, following which he was taken, still in an unconscious condition, to the City hospital in an automobile.

At the hospital he was attended by Dr. Staats, Dr. Leech Cracraft, and Dr. Hugh Carr, of Fairmont. He was given oxygen, and solutions were infused in his blood to produce artificial respiration, to no avail, the patient dying at the hour stated without regaining consciousness. Dr. Staats stated that his death was due to a hemorrhage at the base of the brain, which produced paralysis of the nervous centers controlling respiration.

Dr. Carr's Statement.

Dr. Carr, in connection with the death last evening, gave the following interview: "Munk has not been well for a year. At the Thanksgiving game last year at Morgantown between W. V. U. And W & J, he was injured in a manner very similar to the accident today. He never fully recovered from that injury, and was subject to dizzy spells, spots before the eyes, etc., as a result. He had no business in the game, as a very slight blow would have accomplished his death."

Manager Tom Foulk, of the West Virginia team said: "Munk has not been well, but he insisted on playing. He received raps in the Pennsylvania and Pitt games, but not on the head, which made him dizzy and forced him to retire from the contest."

Munk was the son of Fred Munk, of Connellsville, Pa., who was notified immediately following his son's death and he left immediately for this city. The body was taken to Mendel's undertaking parlors, where it will be prepared for shipment to Connellsville. He was twenty-one years old.

Always Played Football.

Munk always played football. At the Connellsville High school he was captain and quarterback. Later he attended Bucknell College, at Lewisburg, Pa., from which place he went to West Virginia. He played quarterback on the university team last year, and this year until the game today, when he went in as left half. He was shortstop on the baseball team last spring.

The play in which Munk was injured was peculiar, and no one appeared certain just what had occurred. Beil was running the ball, and Munk was leading the interference, and was some distance behind Bethany's line in the open field, when he went down with Right End McCoy, of the Bethany team, on top of him. McCoy was immediately put out of the game by Umpire Young, who, when asked as to his action by a reporter, said that he had not seen more of the play than that McCoy got up and walked away from the fallen player. Referee Sudgen said the same.

Captain Henley's Statement.

Captain Henley, of Bethany, when asked concerning the play, said: "It is the consensus of opinion among the Bethany players that Munk hit McCoy and McCoy hit him back. None of the Bethany players say [sic] the play, nor do I think the officials did, as all were watching the man with the ball.

Coach Townsend said: "Slugging had been going on all through the game, and just prior to the accident I had asked the officials to have it stopped, but they paid no attention to my remarks. All of our players deeply regret the affair, and tomorrow we will take up a popular subscription to purchase a floral offering to, in a measure, show the boy's parents our feeling in the matter."

Coroner's Inquest.

Last night Coroner Rogers held an inquest on the death of Rudolph Munk. The verdict was that death was due to causes as stated above, the injury received in a manner unknown. Charles A Leuder, coach: E. R. Bell, right half back, and Tom L. Foulk, manager of the West Virginia team, and H. D. Pocock were examined. Their testimony was to the effect that Munk had been either jolted or struck by some person. That they had heard that Garler (Bethany sub-end) had slugged Munk, and that they thought "Tige" McFarland, of St. Clairsville, and P. M. Dauson, of Pittsburg, probably saw the slugging. Coroner Rogers sent to Pittsburg for Umpire Young, and another hearing on the case will be held later.

In regard to the mention of End Garler at the coroner's inquest, Captain Henley stated that he had not been in the game and that he, Henley, had replaced McCoy immediately following the accident.