October 4, 2012

W&J senior's death ruled homicide

More news about: Washington and Jefferson
An on-campus memorial honors the memory of W&J running back Tim McNerney.
@CraigPopp photo via Instagram

Washington and Jefferson takes the field Saturday barely 48 hours after a senior captain and star running back was killed for his cellphone and wallet.

Presidents senior running back Tim McNerney was pronounced dead at an area emergency room early Thursday morning, after being attacked off campus.

W&J takes the field Saturday afternoon at Thomas More in a game dedicated to one of the top 10 rushers in school history. Fans and supporters from across all levels of footbal have been remembering McNerney on Twitter using the #RIP5 hashtag, a stream of which is posted below. Two buses of fans are making the five-hour trip from Washington, Pa., to Crestview Hills, Ky., for today's game.

The cause of death was listed as a homicide, the result of blunt force trauma to the head. McNerney was found off campus and was pronounced dead at 4:42 a.m. He was 21.

Stephanie Zur told local television station WTAE that she and McNerney were in a group at a pair of bars in Washington, Pa., on Wednesday night, but that she and a friend took a different route home. 

"They were coming home, and they just got jumped. (His friend) somehow ended up getting away and Tim wasn't as lucky," said Zur. "I can't believe someone would actually beat someone to the point where they're unconscious, not breathing, and leave them there."

Coach Mike Sirianni told WJPA radio: "Timmy was a tremendous young man, raised by a great family, who I can't say enough good things about. He's one of my favorite players that I've ever coached. He was a great player, a great leader."

“This is a tragedy that cannot be explained. It is a tragedy we cannot even put into words,” W&J President Tori Haring-Smith said of McNerney’s loss. “I think what we need to remember is how Tim touched each of us, what he taught us, how he modeled for us the kind of person we all hope we can be.”

McNerney started all four games he played in this season, leading the team in rushing yards. He also led the Presidents in rushing and 2010 and 2011 as well.

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