VALDOSTA, Ga. - Valdosta State University has been notified by the Suwannee County Sheriff’s office that the body of Tajay Hoppines, a member of the men’s cross country team, has been recovered from the Suwannee River.
Hoppines, a freshman from Dacula, Ga., along with members of the men and women’s cross country team and Coach Todd Smoot, traveled to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla., Wednesday afternoon for team building exercises. The team was scheduled to return to campus Friday, Aug. 10.
According to Athletic Director Herb Reinhard, Hoppines arrived at VSU on Sunday, Aug. 5, as part of early arrival activities for student-athletes.
“The VSU athletic family is saddened by the loss of Tajay Hoppines, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his cross country teammates and coaches,” Reinhard said.
Cross country team members returned to campus late Wednesday night and the VSU Counseling Center will provide services for team members and other students as requested.