Appearing in his first press conference since the shooting that resulted in the death of two former players over the weekend, Auburn coach Gene Chizik had to address what he described as “an incredibly difficult 72 hours.”
“It’s a long road ahead of us,” Chizik said. “We’ve got a long road of grieving, and everybody has a different way of doing that….There were a lot of emotions spilled out. This is a grieving process. There’s no right and no wrong.”
The deaths of former players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips has cast a dark cloud over the Auburn community, which continues to hope for the capture of shooting suspect Desmonte Leonard following a fruitless “standoff” at a Montgomer, Ala., home that lasted well into the night. Two other arrests have been made in connection to the shooting, however.
Among those wounded in the incident is current offensive lineman Eric Mack, who sustained a wound in the buttocks near the hip. Chizik said he anticipates Mack will fully recover, but added that football is the last thing on his mind right now.
“I’m not worried about football season,” Chizik said. “I don’t care about football season. This is about young guys getting past a tragic event.”
When asked if he had any words for Leonard, who is facing three counts of capital murder, Chizik said “No… I don’t.”
Chizik added that any student-athletes who wanted to attend memorial services for the deceased would be provided transportation. Counseling services will also be available.
(Hat tip: al.com)