"We learned last night of the tragic death of Donny Everett, an outstanding young man who exemplified the best of our university," Vanderbilt director of athletics David Williams said in a statement released Friday morning. "As you can imagine, the team, the athletic department and the university are trying to come to terms with this tragedy. His parents and loved ones are on our minds and in our prayers as we share in their grief."
The Cook County Sheriff's Department released a statement Friday to The Associated Press that Everett, two teammates and two others were present when Everett tried to swim across Normandy Lake, which is about 60 miles southeast of Nashville.
Everett was halfway across when he asked for help, according to the police report, but friends told police they thought he was joking because they could see him smiling. One person entered the water and pulled Everett several feet before letting go. That person later turned around and saw that Everett had gone under.
County rescue squad divers found Everett just before 7 p.m. ET in 25 feet of water and 15 feet from shore.
Vanderbilt is scheduled to play Xavier at 7 p.m. on Friday night in its NCAA Tournament opener. Vandy coach Tim Corbin met with players and coaches late Thursday night, according to The Tennessean.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Everett was 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings for the Commodores after sitting out the first half of the season with an injury.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.