Thursday, September 30, 2010

Matt Fritzie injures neck in frathouse pool dive (updated)

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge Not everyone can be a golden god.
  • Not everyone can be a golden god.

Update V (10:36 a.m. September 30): Matt Fritzie, the 18-year-old University of Kansas freshman injured while diving into a temporary pool KU's Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) frat house, was moved to a rehabilitation center on Monday, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. While his condition wasn't released, another fraternity pledge told the LJW "that Fritzie initially was paralyzed from the chest down." Read more after the jump ...

Update IV (11:16 a.m. September 27):
The University Daily Kansan pieces together what happened before and after 18-year-old Matt Fritzie suffered a neck injury while diving into a temporary pool at KU's Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) frat house, and it sounds like the party went on after the freshman was airlifted away. Read more after the jump ...



Original Story (6 a.m. September 22): The University of Kansas is on the board with the first airlifted frat-house casualty of the school year. Matt Fritzie reportedly suffered a neck injury while diving into a pool at the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) house.

No word on whether Fritzie screamed, "I am a golden god"

and jumped off the roof of the house into the pool, a la Billy Crudup

in Almost Famous.

Fritzie, 18, was airlifted to an ER in

Kansas City. Word of his condition remains unreleased.

Update (10:25 a.m. September 23): In hindsight, the tone of this post wasn't right. I missed the mark. The target isn't Matt Fritzie

but the environment that allows something like this to happen. Anyway,

the post has generated several angry letters, including one guy who

hopes I die in a fire.

This one was called "Seriously":

Are you seriously making fun of a kid who broke his neck? What a fucking tool. The kid is paralyzed from the waist down.

It doesn't matter how(or where, you obviously hate fraternities) it happened. I hope you fucking die in a fire, or get hit by a bus and end up in a wheelchair your whole life. But, instead you'll just be a hack writer for a two-bit newspaper making $20k a year. That is almost as bad.
This one was titled "Fuck you!":

The article you recently posted about the Mathew Fritzie pool incident

is offensive, rude, incorrect, stupid, and uncalled for. I want to thank

you for waisting my time right now however I need to write this so that

you know how terrible your article is. You don't know a damn thing

about this event so DO NOT blog about it. You are not helping anyone

with your stupid humor, fuck you.

"Matt Fritzie accident":
What is wrong with you? i hope you never write another blog in your life if you have nothing better to say than try and make a joke at an 18 year old kid who may never walk again. Matt is one of my best friends and i have seen the condition he is in since the accident. I don't where you got the idea to write something like that but please take if offline or apologize or something. I would love to hear where you got the idea that he jumped from a roof or that he said anything about a golden god. Imagine if this happened to someone you grew up with and how you wouldn't want a story like this going around no matter what the actual circumstances may have been.
"Insulting":
Your article about the kid that broke his next is pretty insulting and low.

I'm not sure you'd like to present that article to the kids parents would you?

No, you'd just like to write a snarky article about it.

Your parents must be so proud of you.
Update II (9:52 a.m. September 24): The national Phi Gamma Delta

fraternity is trying to figure out what exactly happened at the KU's

FIJI house that left Matt Fritzie with a neck injury after a

diving into a pool, according to the Lawrence

Journal-World. Read more below.

The national fraternity said it could be two weeks before we know anything. The Journal-World reports that the KU frat doesn't have a swimming pool nor was there a pool outside of the house on Thursday.

Also, the Journal-World reports that Lawrence police are interviewing people who were t the party last Friday to figure out "whether any crime had been committed."  KU is also looking into the incident. There was also no official update on Fritzie's condition, but commenters below are alluding to it.

Update III (11:06 a.m. September 24): The University of Kansas

has placed Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) on

"interim suspension pending a hazing investigation" as KU investigates

the circumstances that led to 18-year-old Matt Fritzie injuring

his neck while diving into a pool, according to the Lawrence

Journal-World.

The university released a statement saying that "hazing" won't be tolerated. Here's the full statement from Marlesa Roney, KU's vice provost for student success:

"The university absolutely will not tolerate hazing of any kind. Such violations of human dignity are always taken seriously and confronted immediately by this university."
Roney's office will conduct the investigation.

Update IV: The University Daily Kansan reports that after Matt Fritzie jumped into the pool, he came up "struggling and convulsing" and had to be helped out of the water. Partiers stabilized his neck, and Fritzie apparently couldn't feel his lower body and arms. The UDK reports that after Fritzie was taken away around 8 p.m., the party went on. The students that the paper interviewed said no one was talking about Fritzie.   

The university has placed the frat on interim suspension and is also investigation allegations of hazing. From the UDK:
"After the accident, we were made aware of allegations of activities

that could be construed as hazing," said Jill Jess, spokeswoman for

University Relations.

Update V: Chris Fellows, a former pledge at the frat, explained how the makeshift pool was constructed to the Lawrence Journal-World. The pool was created by "lining up sandbags in a

parking lot, putting a tarp inside, and filling it with water from a

hose." Fellows, at 6-foot tall, said the pool was no higher than his shoulders.

Fellows added that he didn't see Fritzie drinking, didn't see anyone encouraging him to jump into the pool and didn't see anything he considered to be hazing.

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