Reports of Auburn Shooting Say Two Former Players Dead, One Current Tiger Injured


Every time a tragedy like that reported from Auburn early Sunday morning occurs, the question begged is why? Specifics are still surfacing, but early indication is that former AU Tigers Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips were killed, and current Tiger Eric Mack is in the hospital.

The scene at Auburn apartment University Heights was chaotic, per details posted on Reddit. The validity of said account is unknown, but the portrayal is certainly vivid. An account told to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details the “massacre” erupting after an argument about “a female.” Some lives lost, others forever altered, because of an argument over a female. It’s senseless.

Too many times, college football players have died needlessly. Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard was murdered in 2009. The scene the game day following his death was one I will never forget, as his Husky teammates carried his helmet and No. 2 jersey onto the field. UConn played in his memory the remainder of the season.

Memphis lineman Taylor Bradford was shot to death in 2007, and Miami’s Bryan Pata in 2006. One such slaying is too many, and matters not that the young men whose lives taken were athletes.

It takes just a split second to irreparably change lives. One heated moment, that brandishing a weapon compounds. This isn’t a debate on the Second Amendment, rather one plea for young men to leave their weapons at home. A moment of angry, no matter how fierce, is never worth the devastation inflicted. Not only is one life lost, but every person those young men impacted are affected, from family to teammates.

How do athletes and coaches prevent future tragedies from occurring, seeing as there will always be that dangerous few who are inclined to carry weapons? The party scene is a fact of college life, a rite of passage and unwinding from a week of studies. It’s not as simply as avoiding particular areas, either. A party at an apartment near campus, with many student occupants, would not seem an environment conducive to such mayhem.

It’s a question for which I have no answer, but one that needs addressing. One life cut down just as it’s beginning is too many.