Eagles talk about teammate’s death

Eagles talk about teammate’s death

STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Southern Eagles will play Saturday’s football game as scheduled after the suicide of freshman offensive lineman Jordan Wiggins on Monday night.

This has obviously been a very trying week for everyone in the Georgia Southern football program and in this community. Head coach Chad Lunsford and the team will practice on Wednesday.

Lunsford mentioned how football coaches always talk about blocking out distractions but says the feelings after this is something his team can’t suppress.

Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein mentioned there’s no playbook to handle a tragedy like this and how they’ll handle it moving forward is by listening to the student-athletes and those affected the most, as well as the mental health professionals on campus.

Both men said that adding to the difficulty of the situation is that there are so many questions left unanswered, and it’s from there they’ll have to begin moving forward.

“I make a point every day and so do our coaches to speak with every member of our team every day. You ask Jordan, how he’s doing, and he’d smile at you ear-to-ear. So, there’s a lot of questions of why, what we could have done better, and we’re obviously going to evaluate ourselves and see if we can do something as a program,” Lunsford said.

Saturday’s homecoming game will be played at Paulson Stadium. Lunsford says the decision to play the game was completely left up to the team’s leadership committee, made up of several players.

If you need support there are two numbers you can call. For the Statesboro Campus, call 912.478.5541. For the Armstrong Campus, call 912.344.2529. The Georgia Southern University Counseling Center is open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1.800.273.8255. You can also text “home” to 741.741.

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