Coroner: UPJ wrestler Nick Roberts died of fentanyl overdose

Nick Roberts won a national title at the NCAA Division II level last season (Photo/Ali Single)

Nick Roberts, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown wrestling champ, died of a fentanyl overdose, the coroner in Pennsylvania's Cambria County ruled Wednesday.

Coroner Jeff Lees ruled the death accidental.

Roberts, 23, was found dead in his apartment on UPJ's campus on Feb. 25.

Lees said he couldn't determine every pain medication Roberts had been prescribed in the past year without speaking to every one of his doctors first, the Daily American reported Wednesday. However, Lees did say Roberts was not being prescribed fentanyl by a doctor at the time of his death.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent, according to the National Institutes of Health . It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids. In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®.

Roberts won the 133-pound title at the 2016 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in his first season wrestling at Pitt-Johnstown, having transferred there after starting his collegiate mat career at Ohio State. A knee injury in November 2016 ended Roberts' wrestling career.

Prior to college, Roberts graduated from North Star High School in 2012, where he was a three-time PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) Class AA state champion. He also was a four-time District 5 champion and three-time Southwest Regional champion.

Roberts finished his high school career with a record of 146-10. He holds the school record for most falls. Roberts also had an impressive prep career beyond his home state of Pennsylvania. He was a two-time Junior World Team member who placed fifth in the world. In addition, Roberts was a four-time Fargo National Champion and a 2010 Asics First-Team All-American.


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