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May 13, 2008

Curtis Whitley update

The cause of the death of former Panthers' center Curtis Whitley still isn't known, but there is new information to report.

He was found dead at around 6 p.m. Sunday -- Mother's Day, and one day after his 39th birthday -- in his trailer in Fort Stockton, Tx., where he'd be living since October, according to a Texas law enforcement official and Whitley's brother.

The Pecos County Sheriff's office says there was no sign of foul play and no reason to believe the death was a homicide. It is being called an unattended accidental death, pending an autopsy.

His body was sent to El Paso, Tx., for the autopsy, and is expected to be flown home to North Carolina on Wednesday.

A private ceremony for only immediately family members, per Curtis' request, is planned for Thursday or Friday near his hometown of Smithfield, N.C.

Whitley, a former Clemson standout, played for the Panthers in 1995 and '96, the team's first two seasons. He started 24 games and was suspended four games in '96 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The team released him after the season and he played for the Oakland Raiders in '97 before getting suspended again.

More information on his passing in tomorrow's Observer.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on May 13, 2008 at 06:37 PM | Permalink

Comments

R.I.P.

Posted by: Tony F'ing Rowell | May 13, 2008 9:11:36 PM

I have some pictures when he was with carolina and played the 49"ers in san francisco at the playoffs and won. we went to the gate where the players were and he got us in.There was father and son at the gate also that Curtis did"nt know, but said he was with us and you should of seen their faces.Another time I was in northern california and spend some time with Curtis and Tracy,Hanna,and C.W.,I would get a kick out of Curtis when he would go to practice or play a game he would say,well I have to go to work. My sympathy goes to all his family,God bless. Steve

Posted by: steve garcia | May 13, 2008 9:30:32 PM

my wife's Mom was his banker in Fort Mill. She always gushed over how gracious and friendly he was.

I also think its shameful the Panther's website doesn't even mention his death.

Posted by: Tim Collie | May 13, 2008 10:16:24 PM

I think the Panthers website should be renamed to the "Panthers Historical Archive". It is usually a good few days or a week behind any current events. The Panthers are a classy organization and I'm sure it will make it up there eventually. Thanks again Charles and Stan for your dedication to keeping us up to date AS things happen as opposed to AFTER they happen.

Posted by: JJ | May 13, 2008 10:26:36 PM

Curtis I guess GOD needed a excellant Center for his team in Heaven.I will watch,takecare of your children Hannah & CW as you where content with and always knew they had you in their prayers; I will make sure they will always know their DADDY:They took it hard when I broke the news.They know you loved them and be watching over them as their ANGEL in the heavens. The kids grandparents in Wildomar,CA The Camarena's Watching your children here on
earth and you watch over them from Heaven.

Posted by: Fred | May 13, 2008 11:31:29 PM

As a guy who wears the Great Black Cat on his arm for all the rest of his days, it saddens me to hear of the death of any Panther. There should be a lot of pride attached to the inaugural team of '95, as they achieved a great deal in a very short period of time. I have watched this team from it's very inception, and while this is the sort of thing that inevitably happens with time it still should be a moment of reflection for us all. The Panthers football team should mean more than just shoulder pads and helmets; there is a gritty and indomitable Pride that separates the Carolina team from the pack, and we should all take a moment to reflect on our own blessings and give simpathy for Curtis Whitley and his family.

Panther Pride,

mawayne51

Posted by: mawayne51 | May 14, 2008 4:00:30 AM

Hey Steve Garcia, we didn't play San Fran in the playoffs that year or ever. The game in San Fran was a regular season game.

RIP Curtis.

Posted by: Steve Garcia incorrect facts | May 14, 2008 6:39:51 AM

As a distant cousin of Curtis Whitley that has played football in middle and high school, I've always heard from everyone that I could always be like my cousin Curtis and go to the NFL. I never personally met Curtis but my family has told me alot about him. My sophomore year at South Johnston High School I finally got the chance to be like my cousin Curtis. We got a new coach and all of a sudden I was the starting center for the Trojans. I started every game for 3 years. I just want to let everyone know don't always judge a person by the bad things in their lives because somewhere along the way they might have put a dream in someones heart and you saying something negative might crush that dream. To my distant family I want you to know that Curtis inspired me to do my best and strive for all I can be. God Bless and I'm keeping you in my prayers.

A.J. Mozingo
Four Oaks, NC

Posted by: Superman | May 14, 2008 2:17:35 PM

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