Former Auburn WR, College HOFer Terry Beasley dies at 73

Auburn legend and College Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Terry Beasley died Wednesday of an apparent suicide, according to police in Moody, Ala. He was 73.

He resided in Moody, where police found him deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Moody Police Chief Reece Smith told

“He’s been a resident here since I’ve been here,” Smith told the Montgomery Advertiser. “I know he’s had some struggles over the years with stuff from the NFL.”

After earning All-Southeastern Conference and All-America honors at Auburn, Beasley was a first-round pick, 19th overall, by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1972 NFL Draft.

He played only three seasons, totaling 29 games (six starts), 570 yards and three touchdowns on 38 receptions before retiring because of injuries. He might have suffered at least 19 concussions during his playing career, according to an article in 2013.

His family believed health problems, which led him to be hospitalized in 2013, were linked to the concussions. Beasley was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL, which in court filings noted he suffered “multiple past traumatic brain injuries with symptoms including but not limited to, memory loss, headaches, anxiety and sleeplessness.”

The lawsuit led to a comprehensive settlement agreement in 2016.

Beasley still holds many program records for receiving despite playing only three seasons in 1969-71, including 2,507 career yards, 29 career touchdowns, eight consecutive games with a TD catch and 100-yard games for one season (six) and a career (12). He also totaled 141 career receptions, which was the school record until broken by Karsten Bailey in 1998.

Together with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Pat Sullivan, they were regarded as “one of college football’s greatest pass combinations,” according to Beasley’s biography at his 2002 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“He would tell Pat, ‘You throw it, I’ll get it,'” former Auburn athletic director and sports information director David Housel told the athletic program’s website Thursday. “That’s the way it was. He’d run under it and make impossible catches.”

Beasley’s No. 88 is retired at Auburn along with Sullivan’s No. 7 and running back Bo Jackson’s No 34.