And he cried.
“The one thing that I am disappointed about is that our players put themselves in a situation were they didn’t need to be at,” Higgins said. “Anytime you think about losing a player or losing a life it shakes you up a bit. We can use this as a life lesson, and I tell my players all the time, nothing good happens after midnight.”
Higgins said in an interview Tuesday morning that he was relieved that Taylor’s injuries were not life threating. Overcome with emotion, he said he regards his players as family.
“We talk to them (the team) all the time about doing the right things for the right reasonS,” Higgins said. “This is something that we can learn a lesson from, unfortunately.”
Taylor, 21, was shot once in the back of the shoulder around 3 a.m. March 24. Three other members of the team were also involved in the shooting. Taylor was airlifted to Wichita Hospital and has since been released. Higgins sat down with Taylor’s parents shortly after the incident.
“This is something that I have never gone through before,” Higgins said. “I am glad that I wasn’t talking to them about the death of their son and Josh is still with us.”
Both Higgins and Kent Weiser, athletic director, said the players involved will not receive any punishment from the university. Weiser said he has never seen an incident like this in his 15 years as athletic director but said it is something he will use as a learning tool in the future.
“I don’t believe the current players involved were the ones out of line,” Weiser said. “From my understanding, they weren’t there more than 20 minutes, and we have to remember they were the ones getting shot at. I believe they just made a bad decision, and this is a lesson about making good decisions.”
After suffering an injury last year, Higgins said Taylor is eager to get back on the field and sees him playing by next season. Because Taylor’s injuries were not sports related, Weiser said the university would not help with medical bills.
“When coach confronted us, it was an emotional moment for everybody,” said Ryan Newhouse, defensive back and freshman undecided major. “Josh is a great player and an even better person. We are all just thankful that he is okay and if everything works out, will be with us next season.”
No shooter has been found and the investigation is still open.