Northwestern State shuts down football season following shooting

Two weeks ago, Ronnie Caldwell, a defensive back on the Northwestern State football team, was shot and killed near the NSU campus. Following Caldwellʻs death, the Northwestern State Demons called off their next football game that was set to take place on October 14 against Nicholls. The following week, the Demons moved up a game against Southeastern Louisiana to Thursday in order for players to attend the funeral services being held in Caldwellʻs hometown of Austin, Texas.

This week, Northwestern State University announced they are cancelling the remainder of the 2023 season following the resignation of head coach, Brad Laird. The announcement mentioned student-athlete mental health as a determining factor.

Laird, a former Northwestern State quarterback, had spent a total of 15 years in the Demons coaching, ranging is positions from graduate assistant up to head coach, which he held for six seasons. As the head coach at NSU, Laird had a record of 16-41 with zero winning seasons.

NSU was off to an 0-6 start overall with an 0-2 record in the Southland Conference of FCS. The Demons were scheduled to play McNeese this Saturday. The following week, Houston Christian was scheduled to visit Natchitoches for the Demonsʻ homecoming game.

This has happened before

Sadly, this story is reminiscent of what took place at the University of Virginia last year. On November 13, 2022, three Cavalier football players were murdered and two more injured in a mass shooting on campus. Following the tragedy, Virginia called off their final two games of the season.

Three games postponed for Maine mass shootings

A trio of games in Division IIIʻs New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) were postponed “due to the ongoing investigation and following the tragic events in Lewiston, Maine.” The three schools scheduled to host games this weekend, Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby, shut down all campus events this weekend.

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