The troubled life of one of the greatest football players in Indiana Hoosiers football history has come to a sad end.
The Allen County (Ind.) Coroner’s Office confirmed Thursday that a body found in the Maumee River a day earlier as that of 31-year-old James Hardy. Hardy’s body was found not far from his Fort Wayne home, and came a week or so after, TMZ.com reports, his family reported him missing. The same celebrity gossip website writes that “[o]ur sources tell us it appears Hardy had been in the water for several days.”
The coroner as of yet hasn’t been able to determine the cause and/or manner of death.
“Indiana University Athletics is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of James Hardy,” a portion of a press release from the football program read. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones during this difficult time.”
Hardy, who also played basketball at IU, played wide receiver for the Hoosiers in the mid-aughts and left the school as the football program’s leader in nearly every major receiving category. His 191 receptions, 2,740 yards and 36 receiving touchdowns are No. 1 on IU’s career lists, while his single-season marks of 79 catches and 16 touchdowns still stand. The four receiving touchdowns he scored in a 2006 win over Michigan State remains the single-game record.
James Hardy will be missed.
— Indiana On BTN (@IndianaOnBTN) June 8, 2017
While he was a second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 2008 draft, his NFL career failed to match his collegiate production as he finished with just 10 catches for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns in four seasons at that level. Hardy resurfaced in the headlines a couple of years ago, albeit for the wrong reasons.
TMZ reported in May of 2014 that Hardy was arrested after attacking three officers. A judge ruled that he was not mentally competent to stand trial in a case where he faces a felony charge for resisting arrest during the incident. It’s not known how that judicial process played out.