UM football player dies after workout

By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – An Ole Miss football player died suddenly Friday after a workout at the school’s weight room.
Bennie Abram, a 20-year-old exercise science major from Southaven, was pronounced dead at 12:11 p.m., at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
University of Mississippi trainers noticed Abram struggling about 15 minutes during the conditioning portion of the workout, before the start of classes Friday morning.
Trainers administered aid and called for emergency assistance, and Abram was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
“We are deeply saddened over the loss of this young man. Our hearts go out to his parents and the entire Abram family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers throughout the days ahead,” Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones said.
Abram played high school football at DeSoto Central and, for two seasons, Itawamba Community College.
A walk-on, Abram joined the Rebels this semester and did not play in the 2009 season.
Abram appeared in 19 games at ICC, starting most of his sophomore season.
For his ICC career, he totaled 97 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
“Bennie was one of the highest character kids we’ve ever had here at ICC,” said head coach Jon Williams.
Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said an autopsy will be performed. Results won’t be available for at least a couple of weeks, he said.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has dealt with the death of a player before.
In April 1999, Arkansas offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth, himself a walk-on, had just been drafted with the 63rd pick by the Indianapolis Colts. He had just completed his first mini-camp with the Colts when he was killed in a car accident near his home in Harrison, Ark.
“Bennie was a fine young man and a hard worker,” Nutt said. “He was a great person to be around and a well-mannered young man. His loss is so tragic. Our hearts and prayers to out to the family and all who knew Bennie.”

Contact Parrish Alford at (662) 678-1600 or parrish.alford@djournal.com.