Monday, May 26, 2003

Ex-Woodward player killed in CSU fight

Use of phone reported as cause

By Jeremy W. Steele
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Woodward High School football coach Ed Jackson says he feels "cheated" because he can no longer watch a former cornerback strive to play at a college level.

Jeffery Wise, a Woodward graduate (Class of 2002) and standout athlete, died Friday morning as a result of injuries he sustained in a fistfight at Central State University in Wilberforce, where he was a freshman. Wise of Addyston was 18.

"I was looking forward to watching the kids play at different levels," said Jackson, who is retiring after 30 years of high school coaching. "This was one of the ones I was watching. I'll miss him a lot."

Central State officials said Wise was hit in the throat during a late-night fight Thursday outside a campus residence hall. He couldn't breathe and then fell, hitting his face on the concrete.

He was flown to Miami Dayton Hospital, where he died 12 hours later.

Anthony Fairbanks, vice president for institutional advancement at Central State, said Wise and a friend, fellow freshman Randale Z. Imes, 18, of New Buffalo, N.Y., were fighting over the use of a cell phone.

Imes, who was arraigned Friday on one count of murder, is being held in the Greene County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond. A grand jury is expected to hear the case as early as Tuesday.

Jackson met with his former player just a week ago.

Wise, a first-team all-league athlete in football, wanted to transfer to another college so he could play football. Jackson said Wise, who also played high school baseball and basketball, was known for his sense of humor. The coach learned about his former player's death Friday.

"It was like somebody punched me in the stomach," Jackson said. "He was a very hard worker. He always gave 100 percent in practice, plus he was a good student and had a good head on his shoulders."


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