Following the death of junior safety Ronnie Caldwell last week, Northwestern State has decided to cancel the remainder of it's football season. The quarterback, Tyler Vander Waal, isn't happy about it. At all.
Caldwell is killed in a shooting at his apartment complex mere blocks away from campus, and now, the school is ending the season for the mental welfare of the players.
Family was a driving force in Ronnie Caldwell Jr.'s life.
— NSU Football (@NSUDemonsFB) October 21, 2023
"Ronnie was a beloved member of our community, and we miss him dearly," NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones said in a statement.
As mentioned, Vander Waal isn't thrilled, taking his thoughts to X.
After biting my tongue, it?s time to speak out about this whole thing. My 2 cents: pic.twitter.com/IV7dS63Mfn
— Tyler Vander Waal (@TVDub_) October 28, 2023
"Dr jones and Kevin have failed the players immensely. The canceling of the season was never about Ronnie. They used his unfortunate passing as a cop out. The lack of leadership was evident...I fully believe there was more to this decision that we will never know. This was just an easy way to get out of things. Most to if not all of the players in that locker room wanted to play the last 4 games. They didn't consider the players in this decision and they failed us as athletes," the sixth-year college quarterback said.
This cancelation also comes with the team being 0-6. Head coach Brad Laird also resigned after the season was canceled.
Following Vander Waal's thoughts, the NSU athletic department responded. They heard his criticisms but defended the decision.
"We understand and respect the feelings of our players. They are fierce competitors and no doubt some wanted to get back on the field of play," NSU said in a statement. "At the end of the day we had to take the health and welfare of players and coaches into consideration when making this difficult decision. While not easy, we are confident we made the right call."
Caldwell was killed on October 12 at around 1 a.m. A former teammate has been linked to the murder, but the case remains under investigation.
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