As police study the grainy video recorded by security cameras during the North Miami Beach shooting of former University of Miami basketball player Bradley Timpf, one has to marvel at the black cloud that has descended over the University of Miami sports community this year.
First, in July, junior safety Willie Cooper was shot in the buttocks outside of his off-campus apartment. Teammate Brandon Meriweather returned fire with his semi-automatic pistol at the assailant, who wore a bandana and drove a blue Audi.
On November 8, defensive lineman Bryan Pata was fatally shot in the head outside of his Kendall apartment, a mystery still unsolved.
On November 29, tragedy struck UM men's basketball coach Frank Haith when Sean Bell, his 23-year-old nephew, died after being shot by New York City policemen the day before Bell was to be married.
Last Sunday an unknown assailant gunned down Bradley Timpf in the parking lot of a North Miami Beach Houston's — a UM alum who to all appearances was simply an amicable chiropractor.
And then, of course, there was this:
While the killings of Sean Bell and Bradley Timpf are only tangentially related to UM, the football team's issues directly involved UM student athletes. Guns are not allowed on campus, but UM officials have said there is little they can do about students owning guns off campus — indeed, Brandon Meriweather's armed retaliation last summer was fully within the limits of Florida law. -Emily Witt
Update: The Universityof Miami sent the following statement via email Monday in response to this post:
Bryan Pata and Willie Cooper were victims of off-campus violence, not the instigators. As to the FIU incident, the actions of those involved were inexcusable and they have been appropriately disciplined and are also doing community service. We do have and are intensifying our programs with respect to appropriate behavioral actions.
The University has a uniform policy with respect to not allowing guns on campus. That policy is also in place for members of the football team living off-campus and we are currently discussing the possibility of extending that policy to all student-athletes.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.