UNLV, fraternity suspends chapter after fatal boxing event

Updated 33 minutes ago

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The fraternity that hosted a charity boxing match in which a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, collapsed and later died from head injuries were suspended by both the school and its national organization pending the outcome of investigations.

Kappa Sigma director Mitchell Wilson said the international office on Monday began reviewing “whether Kappa Sigma’s internal policies and standards of conduct are being followed” by the UNLV section.

“Kappa Sigma Fraternity expects all of our chapters to comply with all applicable state and local laws,” Wilson said in a statement Thursday.

UNLV President Keith Whitfield on Wednesday night ordered the school’s oldest fraternity to “cease all operations and activities.”

“Its status as a registered student organization is revoked pending the outcome of an investigation by the university and its student conduct office,” Whitfield said.

Nathan Tyler Valencia, a 20-year-old from Las Vegas, died on November 23, four days after collapsing during a boxing event at an off-campus venue in Las Vegas.

Lawyers Ryan Zimmer and Nick Lasso, representing the parents of Valencia, called the fraternity’s suspension “a step in the right direction” and said the family is cooperating with investigators. Valencia’s mother said her son had no boxing experience.

Zimmer and Lasso said witnesses told them there were no paramedics or medical personnel at the site and that the man who served as the Valencia fight referee was recorded on video being drink from a can of beer.

The Clark County Coroner has ruled her death from head trauma a homicide. Las Vegas police cleared the location of wrongdoing and called Valencia’s death tragic, but said it was not a criminal act and no charges would be laid.

The Nevada Athletic Commission, which regulates what Nevada law calls “hand-to-hand combat contests and exhibitions,” has launched its own investigation.

Commission Chairman Steve Cloobeck said the agency had never been involved in boxing matches organized for several years by Kappa Sigma.

The UNLV Kappa Sigma website ranked this year’s “Fight Night” on November 19 as its 10th edition and said the event has raised over $ 100,000 over the years. He called the exhibit an “exhilarating fundraiser where various students from all walks of life volunteer to compete in a 3-round mixed martial arts match.”

The money raised was intended for Center Ring Boxing, a Las Vegas area youth boxing organization. Phone messages left this week with Center Ring Boxing were not immediately returned.

Nevada Higher Education System Chancellor Melody Rose said on Wednesday that the state university’s board of trustees plans to assist authorities with investigations.

UNLV’s Kappa Sigma chapter dates back to 1967 and was the first fraternity on campus, according to a college website. UNLV now has about three dozen social fraternities and sororities.

Kappa Sigma dates from 1869 at the University of Virginia. It is one of the largest fraternities in the world with over 300 active chapters and colonies in North America.

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