Photo Video
Ben Flick
Hide Caption
The decal each player will wear this season.
Hide Caption
Sean VanDyne, student at Miami University, and Ben Flick, football player at University of Cincinnati, were killed in a car crash on Sept. 21, 2013.
Hide Caption
Prev
University of Cincinnati remembers fallen Bearcat football player Ben Flick Fallen Bearcat Ben Flick remembered
Next

Moment of silence held before UC game for fallen Bearcat Ben Flick

a a a a
Share this story

CINCINNATI -- The Bearcat family remembered one of their own Friday night during the University of Cincinnati football team's home victory over Temple.

A moment of silence was held at Nippert Stadium for Ben Flick, a red-shirt freshman offensive lineman who was one of two people killed in a car accident in Hanover Township on Sept. 21.

Sean VanDyne, the driver and Flick's lifelong friend, was also killed, and two of Flick's teammates, Mark Barr and Javon Harrison, were injured in the crash. 

The moment of silence was observed at 8:25 p.m., 11 minutes before kick off of the game between UC and the Owls that was broadcast on ESPN.

During the observance, a video was displayed on the scoreboard above the stadium that highlighted Flick's career as a Bearcat, his time as a student at Hamilton High School, and the his role as brother, son and friend to people across the Tri-State.

While the moment of silence turned into a several-minute tribute, the outpouring of love and support for the 19-year-old persisted throughout the 60-minute football contest.

Tammon Cole's son, Nate Cole, is a freshman wide receiver on the UC football team. She said Flick was not only her son's teammate but also a friend and mentor.

"We're here in order for (Flick's) memory to live on," said Tammon Cole who added that Flick gave her son advice about being a team player and having a team-first mentality.

On the field, players like Nate Cole wore Flick's number, No. 77, on their helmets by way of black and white decals. They also donned personalized messages on their shoes, armbands and T-shirts under their jerseys that paid tribute to their fallen teammate.

Part of that emotion stemmed from a pregame speech by first-year Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville that UC's director of new media, Tom Gelehrter, called via Twitter "the most emotional (and) inspiring" he'd listened to this season.

Tuberville hasn't spoken out much about the death of the 6-foot-6, 272-pound offensive lineman, but when he has his words have expressed a level of disbelief about what transpired 35 miles from the university's campus in Clifton.

"I can't put into words how tragic this is," Tuberville said in a statement after the accident. "As a father and a coach, it's something you hope you never have to go through.

Fathers, coaches, sons, daughters, friends and loved ones comprised the 32,200 members of "Flick Nation" in the stands Friday night. That includes Flick's family members who were visibly and not surprisingly emotional during the pre-game events.

Sherri Hall, a mother of two UC students, attended the game to support the Flick family.

"It is definitely a tragedy when any child loses their life. He was so young and had so much potential," she said.

Everyone at the on-campus stadium, decked out in red and black "Ben Flick" gear, was there to both honor a young man's life and cheer on his favorite team, the Bearcats, to a 38-20 victory. It was UC's first conference win as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Beyond wins and losses, signs and stickers, video highlights and calls for applause by the stadium's public address announcer, the game provided a chance for people to release the emotions they've had to bottle up over the past several weeks while coping with the tragedy.

Ian Silver, a member of the Cincinnati track team, said he has noticed a change on campus since the accident.

"It's definitely been a little quieter and I've noticed '77' all over the place," the sophomore said.

Friday night's game was UC's first at home in nearly a month. It was also the first campus-wide opportunity for the University of Cincinnati community to come together and grieve.

Last week, Cincinnati (4-2, 1-1) suffered a 26-20 loss to South Florida in its first game since the accident.

Two hours before the kickoff to last Saturday’s game in Florida, the entire UC team gathered at midfield at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to pray for Flick, as well as red-shirt freshmen Barr and Harrison.

Before then, the Bearcats spent a difficult bye week mourning, attending Flick's funeral and making hospital visits to check on Barr and Harrison. Barr is still at University of Cincinnati Medical Center in intensive care, but Harrison has since been released.


The car accident occurred while the players and VanDyne, a freshman at Miami of Ohio, were traveling back to Cincinnati from Oxford, Ohio, where the Bearcats had beaten Miami earlier in the day.

The players were making the trip on their own because as red-shirt freshmen, they didn't dress or travel with the team to the game. VanDyne died from his injuries a few days after the crash.

On Oct. 4, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office released a statement indicating that alcohol and speed played a part in the accident.

Share your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement for the Flicks, the VanDynes and the UC family in the section below.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More UC News
UC goes 'green' with new car charging station
UC goes 'green' with new car charging station

On Saturday, University of Cincinnati officials unveiled the first electric vehicle-charging station on or even around the Clifton campus.

'Arms race' for college heads
'Arms race' for college heads

The cost of hiring the best university presidents and other leaders has far outpaced inflation in a time of tight budgets while faculty and…

Higher tuition and less vacation at UC next year
Higher tuition and less vacation at UC next year

Looking to keep its fiscal house in order, University of Cincinnati is hiking tuition by 2 percent across the board while cutting vacation…

Report shows beer bottles, unruly UC weekend
Report shows beer bottles, unruly UC weekend

Reports submitted by University of Cincinnati police officers show how unruly college students turned a party into what one Hamilton County…

Prosecutor: UC 'Stratfordpalooza' party a 'riot'
Prosecutor: UC 'Stratfordpalooza' party a 'riot'

Three people were taken into custody after a party involving hundreds of UC students got out of hand early Sunday morning.

UC student leads cops on high speed chase
UC student leads cops on high speed chase

A University of Cincinnati student faces serious charges after he fled from a routine traffic stop, according to Cincinnati police.

UC contract ratified by 94 percent of voters
UC contract ratified by 94 percent of voters

Members of University of Cincinnati's faculty union have overwhelmingly approved the contract hammered out after protracted negotiations.

UC ambassadors beef up neighborhood safety
UC ambassadors beef up neighborhood safety

University of Cincinnati has hired a team of five "ambassadors" to patrol the Short Vine and U Square districts near campus as part…

Local researcher looks for answers in the air
Local researcher looks for answers in the air

University of Cincinnati researcher and professor heads to eastern Ohio with cutting-edge tools and a public health mission.

4 UC students robbed in past 24 hours
4 UC students robbed in past 24 hours

At least four University of Cincinnati students have been robbed in the past 24 hours.