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U. of Nevada Pitcher Dead After “Unfortunate Incident Within The Program”

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I heard a news flash on ESPN Radio Tuesday that mentioned that a University of Nevada freshman pitcher was in the hospital in critical condition as a result of what the team’s coach called an “unfortunate incident within the program.”

Wednesday we were told that the pitcher – 18-year old Steve Masten – had died sometime Tuesday. When the original item was posted on ESPN’s web site early today (Wednesday), the baseball coach’s reference to “an unfortunate incident” was included in the story. For some reason this reference to the “unfortunate incident” was removed from the story as it appeared later on Wednesday, even though the headline in the link on ESPN’s home page still used the coach’s description of the cause of the injury and ultimate death of Masten.

What is “an unfortunate incident,” and why did ESPN remove the reference to this statement – used in both radio reports and in early web reports – as this story developed? Rather than provide more information, why have we been given less?

As a coach, the phrase “unfortunate incident within the program” conjures up all kinds of images that could mean nothing but major trouble for the Wolf Pack’s baseball team and the University as well. In light of the mess involving the Duke lacrosse team and the Baylor basketball team – where a team member was murdered by a teammate and the head coach tried to cover things up – imaginations can run wild trying to figure out just what this particular unfortunate incident entails.

The University has refused to discuss any of the details surrounding Masten’s death, and the Washoe County’s Sheriff’s Office hasn’t responded to media inquires either. All that we’ve been told is that the Masten family has requested privacy, and a spokesman for the University’s athletic director has asked the media not to ask any student athletes or coaches for comments on the incident.

The University’s A.D. spokesperson said, “We are not going to talk about any of the details.”

All of this is very fishy and bears watching.

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About Sal Marinello

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Turns out he shot himself.

  • sal m

    regardless of the how’s and why’s, it’s a tragedy.

  • sal m

    the press reports are limited to saying that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound…still sounds a little sketchy.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Far from suspicious, though, unless Dave Bliss was hired as the Nevada baseball coach.

  • sal m

    well i think that a self inflicted gunshot wound is different than suicide…but we’ll see i guess.

  • http://www.mrjerz.org/ mrjerz

    It was suicide, at least according to all the unofficial stuff I’ve heard. The kid had a great future, and this is a real tragedy. I just hope all the people close to him and around him can move on.

  • http://www.vitaminz.blogspot.com Zach Baker

    The “within the program” comment was a bit confusing. I think a lot of things will need to be looked at. Perhaps the coach just misspoke, and who could blame him? But it’s just a little weird. Still, it’s a tragedy, and I feel for the team, and especially the kid’s family.

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