For the second time in a year the Cincinnati football program is mourning the loss of one of their own. Freshman running back Chamoda Kennedy-Palmore has been identified by police as the victim of a motorcycle accident. According to reports, Kennedy-Palmore was struck by another vehicle while riding his motorcycle.
Kennedy-Palmore walked on to the Bearcats team last year and had never seen a down on the field. There is not much more information to go on right now related to the accident, but reports say he was wearing a helmet and proper equipment when hit. The timing of it all is somewhat notable as well. It was just about a year ago to the day Cincinnati offensive lineman Ben Flick was killed in a car accident. Two other Cincinnati players, wide receivers Mark Barr and Javon Harrison were injured in the wreck as well.
Cincinnati is preparing to play on the road at Ohio State this weekend. The tragic loss of a teammate will no doubt bring a somber tone to a game figuring to have significant in-state bragging rights on the line. The game also carries some important weight in Cincinnati’s Group of Five race to a New Years bowl game. All of that will take a back seat as the team deals with this loss. Knowing Ohio State’s history and reputation, the Buckeyes will go all out in showing support for Cincinnati’s loss when the two teams take the field on Saturday night.
UPDATE (6:25 p.m. ET): Cincinnati has released a formal statement regarding the death of Kennedy-Palmore. You can read the full release here, but here is a statement released by head coach Tommy Tuberveille;
“Our football program and University has suffered another great tragedy,” Head Coach Tommy Tuberville said. “I’m a father first and a coach second and it’s always hard to put your thoughts into words during times like these. Chamoda was a talented non-scholarship player and a key member of our scout teams. He worked hard and earned his spot on the roster. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
The playing careers for a pair of Cincinnati players have come to an end as a result of a car crash last September. Wide receivers Mark Barr and Javon Harrison will no longer play football due to injuries suffered in a tragic auto accident that claimed the life of offensive lineman Ben Flick.
In addition to Barr and Harrison, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville confirmed to Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer that safety Marcus Foster and defensive back Drake Burns will also no longer be able to play football. All four players will remain on scholarship.
Harrison was listed in stable condition once taken to a hospital following the accident, but Barr was placed in critical condition. Barr was released from a hospital nearly a month later.
In more positive injury news out of Cincinnati, quarterback Munchie Legaux is making some good progress on his return to football. After suffering a devastating knee injury early last season, Legaux was granted an extra year of eligibility and he is looking to make it count. Tuberville expects Legaux to be in uniform and available to practice once the Bearcats open training camp. With Gunner Kiel stating his case for the starting job in the spring, Legaux may have to be at 100 percent and work to win the job back once he is.
Tragedy struck the Cincinnati football program last weekend when a car accident killed offensive lineman Ben Flick and injured wide receivers, Mark Barr and Javon Harrison. Cincinnati is off this weekend but there will be a tribute to pay tribute to Flick and the injured players on the football field this weekend. Western Michigan will wear a Cincinnati logo on their helmets, below the standard bronco logo.
A quick rendition of the design was sent out via email and on Twitter by University of Cincinnati president Santa Ono.
The helmet tribute is obviously a very classy move, especially since there is little if anything connecting the two schools located 309 miles apart and competing in different conferences. The two football programs have only faced each other three times dating back to 1947, according to GridironHistory.com. None of the three players involved in the accident are from the state of Michigan either. Flick and Harrison are Ohio natives and Barr is from Florida.
So what was it that led Western Michigan to pay such a tribute for a school with virtually no connections to Cincinnati? It all stems back to the whole “Row the Boat” mentality instituted by new head coach P.J. Fleck. Fleck offered this brief statement through an email exchange Thursday evening;
“Simply, it’s the right thing to do. Losing a child is a haunting and unthinkable aspect of life. The Row the Boat belief we have in this program is a lifestyle and a way of life to help others through adversity. We want Coach [Tommy] Tuberville, the families involved and all of Bearcat Nation to know we are rowing for them.”
Photo credit: Western Michigan Athletics