Morgan Community Honors Fallen Football Player


The MSU Spokesman

Morgan students, family and friends gathered in front of the Hill Field House with lit candles and balloons on Thursday at 8 p.m. for a candlelight vigil in honor of the fallen football player Marquese Meadow.  After a moment of silence, a teammate and family member spoke in remembrance of the fallen freshman, describing him as a young man who always had a smile on his face.

At the end of the vigil, supporters let go orange and blue balloons for Meadow. “The support from the different athletic teams as well as different leaders on campus brought back the feeling of that old Morgan spirit,” said former cheerleader Javonna Welch.

On Aug. 24, Meadow died from heatstroke after being hospitalized for two weeks. The player fell ill after he became disoriented during an approximately hour-long workout on Aug. 10.

The Bears typically do not schedule practice on weekends, but on Sunday, Aug. 10, the players had a workout. At the end of the evening session a trainer noticed a shift in Meadow on the field and escorted him to the bench, according to Morgan State spokesman Clint Coleman. Based on his responses, the trainer called 911.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Aug. 26, the athletics department asked for privacy. “The team asks that media members respect the privacy of the players, coaches, and athletics staff at this time of mourning,” read the statement on the Morgan State Bears website.

“No one really knows why this happened because the practice was not very long, the weather was not extremely hot and there was certainly plenty of water to be had,” says Coleman. “They didn’t have on gear, pads, no equipment–it wasn’t a hitting workout- it was only a conditioning workout.”

Coleman says that at each practice and workout, there is a plethora of water and Gatorade available for players on both ends of the football field. He explains that the workout consisted of two to three sprints across the field, “up downs” and running in place followed by a rest break.

On Monday, Aug. 25, William C. McCaskill, attorney to the Meadow family, said Morgan State was less than forthcoming about what exactly happened at Meadow’s last practice. “I would have thought Morgan would have jumped in and said something by now,” said McCaskill to the Baltimore Sun. “Nothing. Not even basic details…They’re not giving Mrs. Meadow any information.”

Benita Meadow, mother of Marquese Meadow, said Morgan State hasn’t been able to provide her with any details of the last practice.

“I don’t really know why she’s saying that,” says Coleman. “Not only was Morgan constantly in touch with her, but she was constantly in touch with Morgan and keeping us up to date with his condition, how he was progressing, how his condition had improved…members of his team were welcome to visit [the hospital].”

McCaskill said that Benita Meadow is not accusing Coach Lee Hull or the trainers of any foul play. She simply wants to know what happened.

“We want to keep her informed but at the same time we must be sensitive to what’s going on at this time,” says Coleman.

Meadow’s memorial service will be held on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the Morgan State University Chapel. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at New Macedonia Baptist Church in Washington, DC. The viewing is from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the service is from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Photo by MSU Athletics Media Relations