Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Wyoming works through tragedy
By Andrea Adelson
Wyoming coach Dave Christensen is trying to keep the routine this week as normal as possible as his team tries to work through tragedy.
Early Monday morning, freshman linebacker Ruben Narcisse was killed in a car accident. Freshman cornerback Trey Fox, freshman wide receiver C.J. Morgan and redshirt freshman linebacker J.J. Quinlan were also injured in the wreck near the Colorado-Wyoming state line. Fox apparently fell asleep at the wheel and the pickup they were riding in veered off the road, ejecting three of the players. They were returning from Fort Collins, Colo., where they went to visit some high school friends, hoping to make it back on campus in time for academic mentoring appointments.
"We're going to try to stay as close to normalcy as well can," Christensen said Tuesday on the Mountain West coaches conference call in his first public comments since the tragedy. "We think it will help get the kids get their minds on something different. There’s not a manual on how to do these things. It’s something we’re going to take one day at a time and make the best of an awful situation."
Narcisse came to Wyoming from Miami after initially wanting to play at USF. But he never got a scholarship offer and settled on the Cowboys.
"He spent a lot of time up here in the summer time, a great young man -- had a smile on his face the whole time," Christensen said. "What a huge impact he made on our campus in such a short period. A very promising athlete, a good student, a good person and a guy that’s going to be sorely missed in our program."
Wyoming plans on wearing a decal with his initials on its helmets when it plays Texas on Saturday. Several players have asked to wear his jersey number, 12, and they will be allowed to do so. Counseling has been made available to the athletes, coaches and students on campus as well. But Christensen has no idea what to expect from his team come game time.
"I’d be lying if I said I knew how we were going to react," he said. "I’m hoping this will pull us together, make us stronger. I don’t know; we’ll find out."