Northwestern State football alum reacts to cancellation of 2023 season

Brad Laird announces resignation during his sixth season as Demons head coach
Published: Oct. 27, 2023 at 6:14 AM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - “At the end of the day, we had to look out for the health and well-being of our student-athletes, " says Northwestern State President Dr. Marcus Jones in a Natchitoches Parish Journal podcast.

After six weeks of playing football, the 2023 season is over for Northwestern State. The university announced that the remaining four games will all be canceled, citing the mental well-being of the team following the passing of a fallen teammate on October 12, Ronnie Caldwell.

“Some of the student-athletes, they expressed to coaches and the administration that they were still struggling with the death of Ronnie Caldwell, " says Dr. Jones.

NSU adds that Brad Laird has turned in his resignation as well. In the Demons’ official press release, Laird was quoted as saying, in short, “ ... Any coach will tell you, that their players become like family, so the loss of Ronnie was like losing a son ... "

However, some Demon alumni have expressed frustration of the year’s closure.

“I don’t know if this was from the university level itself, you’ll never be able to convince me that 75 to 80 players on that football team, that they all agreed to not play football for the rest of the year just due to the situation that occurred, " says former Demons safety Steve Graf. “Tragedy at Northwestern State. As tragic as it is, that they’re the ones, the team just made the decision on their own.”