Police delivered devastating news to Indiana State’s sports director Sherard Clinksdale early on August 21. An automobile accident claimed the lives of two university football players and another student.

Clinksdale started formulating a strategy to comfort and assist the teammates and friends of the slain youngsters right away.

Clinksdale declared, “There is no blueprint for anything like this.”

The increased focus on mental health care in athletic departments and universities generally, motivated in part by the pandemic and lessons learned from other tragedies, is helpful in responding to a crisis, according to those who have experienced the unexpected death of a college athlete under their supervision.

Earlier this week, the University of Virginia experienced grief. On a bus headed back to the Charlottesville campus from Washington, three football players were shot and murdered. Two other kids were hurt, one of them was a football player.

Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a 22-year-old suspect in police custody, is a student at Virginia and a former football walk-on.

Classes, academic activities, and the university’s Saturday home game versus Coastal Carolina were canceled, while counselors and therapy dogs were made available by the institution. Throughout the week, temporary monuments with flowers and plush animals have appeared on campus, notably at Scott Stadium, where the Cavaliers football team plays. Undergraduate students will not have to finish any graded assignments or take examinations before the Thanksgiving break, according to the institution, which started classes on Wednesday.

It’s crucial to connect and communicate with the pupils. Athletic trainers, who spend so much time with the athletes, according to Henry, may be quite helpful in figuring out which pupils might require further support.

Tony Elliot, Virginia’s head coach, mentioned “having eyes” on the players at Tuesday’s press conference.

Nothing can adequately prepare you for this circumstance, and all we want to do is be there for the boys, Elliott said.

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