ELON, N.C. (WNCN) – The bond between athletes was evident Thursday as an Elon University student and football player was remembered a day after he died.
Demitri Allison of Cornelius, North Carolina, fell from Morrison Hall, authorities said. UNC campus police ruled Allison’s death a suicide on Thursday afternoon.
Allison was a wide receiver on the Elon University football team and he was remembered Thursday in the stadium where he played. He was a junior majoring in management, said Smith Jackson, vice president for Student Life at Elon University.
Jackson said Allison left the Elon campus Wednesday. Family and friends asked police to search for Allison as they were concerned for his emotional state.
“Demitri was a talented young man with a bright future and loved by his teammates. We mourn his loss deeply,” said Elon Athletic Director AD Dave Blank.
Head coach Rick Skrosky said there was “a lot of pain” after Allison’s death.
“Lot of questions,” Skrosky said. “And ultimately, a lot of love from these guys.”
Co-captain Miles Williams described the mood as “sad” and painful.
But, he said, the team was comforted by knowning Allison was “in a better place now.”
Word began to spread around campus Thursday afternoon once the cause of death had been determined by police.
“The mood [dampened]. You could tell something was going on and everybody kinda had their head down…it was one of those unsaid things. [Allison’s death] rattled me, a lot,” said UNC student Will Bryant. “It’s kind of surreal for this to happen this close to home. I pray for everybody, his family, everybody at Elon, members of that football team…I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”
“Everyone I know seemed a little bit down about it…it’s kind of weighed us all down a little bit,” said UNC student Stanley Arnaud.
Thursday’s gathering began at Rhodes Stadium in Elon at 4:30 p.m.
Anyone who would like to talk about their feelings of loss or concern for others may contact Counseling Services at 278-7280 or the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at 278-7729. Counselors are available after hours on call by contacting Campus Safety and Police at 278-5555. The Student Life administrator-on-call may also be reached at 278-5555 at any time.