NSU quarterback, former player questions season cancellation

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Published: Oct. 28, 2023 at 4:54 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Northwestern State University quarterback Tyler Vander Waal took to X Saturday to express his feelings about the football team’s season being canceled amid the death of player Ronnie Caldwell.

“After biting my tongue, it’s time to speak out about this whole thing. My 2 cents,” Vander Waal then posted a screenshot of a note he wrote addressing the athletic department and former head coach Brad Laird.

Vander Waal also said that leadership “failed” the team and that Coach Laird did not have control of the team. “The decision makers here thought it was a good idea to cancel the season and take away the only structure we had,” Vander Waal said.

Former head coach Brad Laird resigned earlier this week.

“We appreciate Coach Laird’s long-term investment in Northwestern State football. From his undergraduate time as a record-setting quarterback to his year spent overseeing the university’s alumni office to coaching, he has been a vital member of the team,” said Kevin Bostian, NSU’s athletic director.

Former NSU defensive end Darius Whitfield also shared a statement in response to the school’s athletic department official statement on X.

“I don’t think this was the player’s choice at all,” Whitfield said. “Feel bad for my brothers who are seniors.”

“While the team will no longer play or practice, the athletic department will continue to offer counseling and support services to players and staff. The decision to cancel football is not permanent, and we fully expect to return to play for the 2024 season,” the athletic department said in their statement.