OSU crash latest in list of tragedies

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 4, 2001


For the last two weeks, Super Bowl XXXV has dominated the sports headlines with the Baltimore Ravens celebrating their victory in the game Sunday. But elsewhere in the sports world, the news has been much sadder over those two weeks. Most recently, there was the plane crash in Colorado that took the lives of Oklahoma State University basketball players Nate Fleming and Daniel Lawson, sports information employee Will Hancock, director of basketball operations Pat Noyes, trainer Brian Luinstra, student manager Jared Weiberg, broadcast engineer Kendall Durfey, broadcaster Bill Teegins, pilot Denver Mills and co-pilot Bjorn Fahlstrom. It was certainly not the first time that members of a team were killed in a plane crash. This past November, the 30th anniversary of the crash that killed 37 Marshall University football players was observed. A little more than a month before that tragedy, 14 Wichita State football players were killed in a crash in Colorado. In 1961, 18 members of the U.S. figure skating team were killed in a crash in Belgium. Fourteen members of the University of Evansville basketball team and coach Bobby Watson were killed in 1977. And 14 members of the U.S. amateur boxing team died in a plane crash in Poland in 1980. When one stops to think about all the teams that travel to games each year by plane, it’s a miracle that there are not more disasters of this type. That any do occur is a tragedy.

It was a sad coincidence that the 1965 American League Rookie of the year, Curt Belfrey, and the 1966 winner of the award, Tommy Agee, died within a week of each other.

The broadcast world lost two greats recently with the passing of Al McGuire and Marty Glickman. They were both truly pioneers in their field.

Marty Schottenheimer said he couldn’t work for a owner like Washington’s Dan Snyder. Butch Davis has denied for weeks he was leaving Miami (Fla.) to take the Cleveland Browns job. Guess it’s like that old James Bond film, “Never Say Never Again.”

Speaking of Schottenheimer, the Redskins sidelines will look like a Schottenheimer family reunion this year. Marty will be the head coach, Kurt the defensive coordinator and Brian the quarterbacks coach.

For those of you suffering football withdrawal, the XFL starts today. Can’t wait to see how Gerry DiNardo does in his debut. But jeez, couldn’t they wait a couple of weeks after the Super Bowl to start up?

From the things you thought you would never hear department, Mitch “The Wild Thing” Williams has been named the pitching coach of the Atlantic City Surf of the Independent Atlantic League.

The PGA Tour finally found something to slow down Tiger Woods – overzealous autograph seekers. Oops, never mind.

Cost of a Super Bowl ring: $5,000. Player’s share for winning the Super Bowl: $58,000. Picture of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue giving Ray Lewis the Super MVP award: priceless.