Syracuse University was overcome with grief last Saturday night upon the tragic loss of freshman broadcast journalism major David Spencer at approximately 10:45pm. The cause of death ““ too much school spirit.
It was like any other game day at Syracuse, except an NCAA record of 34,616 of the school’s fans were all in attendance of a matchup against rival Villanova. The halls of the infamous Carrier Dome were lined with tents and sleeping bags of fans eager to get front row seats. Among them was Spencer, a fun loving first year student and a member of the Syracuse Orange sports enthusiast group, Otto’s Army. Just like they do at every sporting event, he and a number of his friends had painted their bodies orange and blue in a display of pride for their team’s official colors. Unfortunately for Spencer, his excitement got the best of him, and the coating of paint proved to be too thick for him to bear. Autopsy results reveal that an excessive amount of lead constricted his outermost layer of skin and caused a deficiency of oxygen flow within his body’s bloodstream, causing him to slowly and gradually suffocate to death as Wes Johnson and the Orange pulled away from the Wildcats in a demoralizing 95-77 victory.
Friends of Spencer’s described him as “a great kid,” “very caring,” and “always there when you needed him.” They could tell something was wrong Saturday night when he was not his usual self during Syracuse’s amazing display of athletic dominance over Villanova. “We were front row and center like we always are after we sleep in the Carrier Dome for the twelve days leading up to each game,” fellow freshman Steve Chun-Park said. “But David was quiet for some reason. He wasn’t starting any “Go Orange’ chants, waving his arms in the air during the opposing team’s foul shots, or heckling the refs for calling fouls against us. He just sat there, breathing really heavily and coughing occasionally.”
Chun-Park noted that Spencer possibly required medical attention when he was unresponsive to an attempted high-five after Andy Rautins hit an incredible three-pointer that changed the pace of the game and really put the Orange in a position to win it all. However, there was no medical staff in sight and Rick Jackson had just dunked an insanely awesome alley-oop with an assist from Scoop Jardine and the team’s morale seemed to be completely unstoppable.
“When Rick gets the ball down there, he’s going to score,” Rautins stated in an interview with the Post Standard. “It’s inevitable.”
“In the first half, Kris and Scoop were huge,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim added. “I’ve said all year, those two guys are just like starters and they played like starters.” Later that week, the NCAA basketball rankings were revealed, putting the Orange in the top position at number 1 for the first time in over 20 years. “It’s been a long time and we’re happy to be there,” said Boeheim. “I anticipate us getting better in the next few weeks.”