Colt Brennan, the former star quarterback for the University of Hawaii, was found unconscious in a hotel room one day before he died, his father, Terry Brennan, revealed. Colt was 37.
Terry confirmed his son died on Tuesday, May 11, at a hospital in Newport Beach, Calif. Terry said his son ingested something that was apparently laced with fentanyl and was never able to regain consciousness.
According to the grieving father, Colt wanted to get better and tried to enter a detox program at an area hospital hours before his death; however, he was unable to stay because there were no beds available.
"He was really into it," Terry explained of Colt's recovery program, adding that he enjoyed the physical aspect of the program. "It involved a lot of physical activity and he liked it. He was working with soldiers who had come back from Afghanistan and Iraq with similar problems."
And while "he was doing quite well with it for four months," Terry explained, "something happened and he went to the dark side, and it was just not good." Terry said his son — a one-time Heisman Trophy finalist — was "doing well" before he died, adding that he finally had the "spark back in his eyes."
"He was healthy and doing great, and it happened," Terry said of his untimely death. "Obviously, someone gave him a pain pill of some sort, but it was fentanyl, according to what we’re understanding."
Colt has reportedly had multiple run-ins with the law for driving while under the influence and getting arrested for causing a disturbance while intoxicated. Looking back at Colt's actions under the influence, Terry said: "It seemed to have an effect on him to where he just found himself going from one bad spot to another bad spot."
He continued, "I don't know how else to say it. You make decisions and sometimes they're the right decisions, and sometimes they're the wrong decisions."
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According to the outlet, Colt is fourth all-time in career touchdown passes with 131.
The University of Hawaii released a statement following news of Colt's death. The school praised him for being a "phenomenal player," providing the "Rainbow Warrior fans" with "the greatest sports memories." Despite his success on the field, they said Colt was "more than that."
"For all that he accomplished on the football field and the adulation he received for it, he always remained among the people," the statement read. "He never turned down an autograph, he never turned down a picture with someone. He inspired everyone, from our keiki to our kupuna."
They commended him for his "Warrior mentality on the field," but also his "true aloha spirit off of it."
Colt had a successful career in Hawaii, leading the team to its first Western Athletic Conference title during his senior year and finishing third in the Heisman Trophy Voting. According to Fox News, Colt was the first player from Hawaii to finish as a Heisman finalist.
In 2008, the Washington Redskins picked Colt in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. However, injuries prevented him from playing his rookie year and he was released from the team. He later joined the then-Oakland Raiders in 2010 but was cut before the season started. Colt never played in the NFL again.
In 2010, the late athlete suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car crash, and that made it difficult for him to continue his football career. He tried to play in the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League, but his career didn't last long.
Terry said his son was never the same after the accident, which also resulted in broken ribs and a broken collarbone. And last year, Colt was reportedly arrested at a hotel for causing a disturbance while under the influence. He was arrested again a few months later at his home in Hawaii for another disturbance. The police reportedly said he was "extremely intoxicated."