The sudden death of former Bears safety Dave Duerson has left many in the fooball world shocked and deeply saddened.
“It’s very sad, it really is,” Mike Ditka told John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. “It’s a sad time to see that. I know his life changed a little bit. I didn’t know anything that would be preying on his mind that way. He was a truly nice guy, he really was.”
The cause of Duerson’s death is unknown. He had experienced a divorce in recent years.
“It’s just so unfortunate. I’m just speechless right now. It’s very hard to take,” former teammate Richard Dent said.
Duerson played at Notre Dame and sat on the school’s board of trustees.
“Our hearts go out to the Duerson family and to all those who knew Dave,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “You couldn’t help but be impressed by him when you met Dave Duerson, and I think that was the reaction from anyone who was ever around him.”
Duerson was the 1987 NFL Man of the Year.
“Dave Duerson was a doer, a leader, and a giver,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote. “The NFL expresses heartfelt sympathy to the Duerson family.”