Notre Dame Recruit Matt James Dies Due To a Tragic Spring Break Accident

James WalkerAnalyst IIApril 4, 2010

Another student dies during spring break, and this time the student was Notre Dame recruit Matt James.

James, a four-star recruit out of Cincinnati's St. Xavier High School, was part of Brian Kelly's first recruiting class as head coach of Notre Dame.

James was purportedly drunk and belligerent prior to accidentally falling over a balcony railing while on vacation in Panama City Beach, Fla.  He was a part of a group of 40 St. Xavier students and a half-dozen parents.

Witnesses reported that James was drunk, and had leaned over the railing while waiving his finger at people in the next room over.  Then he fell over the rail.

James is the second teenager to die from a fall in Panama City Beach within a month.

Cincinnati was going to be Matt James' college of choice, but when Brian Kelly left for Notre Dame, he followed Kelly and signed with the Irish.

Criminal charges may be levied if police determine who provided James with alcohol since he was only 17 years old, i.e. a minor.

How many kids have to fall off balconies before something is done to prevent accidental deaths?  Growing up in south Florida back in the day when Ft. Lauderdale was the hot spring break spot, every year it seemed we would hear stories of someone dying from falling off a balcony.  As a matter of fact, my wife's friend from Ohio University died from a balcony fall in Daytona Beach.

Where is the answer?  Yes, conventional wisdom would say take alcohol out of the mix and most, if not all, of these accidents would be prevented.  Since that will never happen, what will it take to stop these fatal accidents?

James is survived by his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry James.