WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State University remembers one of the worst tragedies of college sports history on Monday.
On Monday, Oct. 2, at 9 a.m., the university marked 53 years since a plane carrying the university’s football players and administrators crashed, killing 31 people.
The plane was flying to Utah at the time.
Rusty Featherstone, who was an offensive tackle for the team, was on the other plane the team was using that day. He remembers when they touched down in Utah and learned of the tragedy.
“We couldn’t understand how, how does that happen? This was the most beautiful day. A bunch of college guys going to play a game of football. You have friends die in Vietnam, but you don’t die going to a sporting event,” he said.
Eight players and the plane’s co-pilot survived. The game in Utah was canceled, but Featherstone said players voted to finish the season.
The memorial for the team is located at the university entrance at Memorial Drive and Hillside.