A "drunk and belligerent" 17-year-old Notre Dame football recruit was killed in a fall from a fifth-floor hotel balcony during his senior-year spring break in Florida, authorities said Saturday.
Matt James, one of the nation’s top recruits, died around 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Days Inn Motel in Panama City Beach. He was dead when police arrived.
“It appears to be a tragic accident,” Panama City Beach police Maj. David Humphreys said. “Witnesses and friends indicate he had become drunk and belligerent. He had leaned over the balcony rail, was shaking his finger at the people in the next room over. He fell over.”
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound all-state lineman had been the first top signing for new Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Washington State senior defensive tackle Toby Turpin has been kicked out of school and his football career with the Cougars is over. Turpin, a two-year letterman who started 10 games and played in 26 for WSU, was suspended for undisclosed reasons for the final two games of last season. The reason for his expulsion by the WSU student conduct council was not disclosed.