NEW YORK — A Fordham University football player collapsed during pregame warmups and died Saturday, with his parents in the stands and his sister preparing to sing the national anthem.
Bill Tierney, 20, a starting defensive back from Lyndhurst, N.J., was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour after collapsing at Coffey Field in the Bronx.
"He was a great, great kid," said Fordham Athletic Director Frank McLaughlin. "This is unbelievable. The campus is devastated."
Tierney, a junior, "was just running and he dropped. There was never a pulse," McLaughlin said.
A crowd of 3,000--including Tierney's parents, Raymond and Kathleen, and his sister, Ryann--was in the stands for the homecoming game against Lafayette College when Tierney fell. He collapsed shortly before Ryann, 15, was to sing the national anthem.
Fordham immediately postponed the game.
The Fordham players were jogging from midfield to the end zone immediately before the game's scheduled start, said Brian Byrne, Fordham's vice president for administration.