College newspaper slap at Tillman

April 30, 2004 at 9:04 AM
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AMHERST, Mass., April 30 (UPI) -- The University of Massachusetts newspaper received hundreds of complaints about a column that disparaged the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman.

Rene Gonzalez, in a column that appeared Wednesday in the UMass-Amherst Daily Collegian, said Tillman was a "GI Joe guy who got what was coming to him." He called Tilliman's actions "prophetic idiocy."

Tillman left the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, who were paying him $3.6 million a year, to enlist in the Army. He was killed last week during a fire fight in Afghanistan. Gonzelez' article ran next to one praising Tillman's heroism.

Daily Collegian Editor Jennifer Eastwood told the Boston Globe the student newspaper had received calls and e-mail from around the country. She estimated 98 percent of the content condemned Gonzalez' column.

The column also drew the attention of Jack Wilson, UMass's new president, who called Gonzalez's comments "a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in the serviced to his country," the Globe reported.

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