Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana canceled the remainder of its 2023 football season due to the shooting death of player Ronnie Caldwell, Jr.
Caldwell, who was a student at NSU and played safety for their football team, was shot and killed on Oct. 12 at the Quad Apartments in the 3800 block of University Parkway. He was a junior business administration major from Austin, Texas. The school’s president, Marcus Jones, released a statement yesterday (Oct. 26), noting that they need to take some time off to mourn and focus on the well-being of the athletes. “Ronnie was a beloved member of our community and we miss him dearly,” he began. “While our instinct was to return to the field of play following his death, we’ve since learned that the hurt on our team was too deep. Now it is in the best interest of our players, coaches, and staff to pause and to take this time to mourn, to heal, and to support Ronnie’s family.”
Brad Laird, who was in his sixth season as the head coach of the Demons football team, also decided to resign. “Due to the loss of Ronnie and the emotional burden it has caused me, I don’t feel I can give my all to these players or this program,” Laird added to the release. “Any coach will tell you that their players become like family, so the loss of Ronnie was like losing a son. I love this program and this university and I know it will persevere and move forward with the competitive spirit that is at the core of our DNA.”
As previously reported by REVOLT, last year, a 22-year-old University of Virginia football player allegedly shot and killed three of his teammates. According to sources, the incident occurred while the team was returning to their campus on a school bus from a field trip.