September 17, 2013

Cairo Santos' dad dies in stunt plane accident

Cairo Santos may miss Tulane's game against Syracuse on Saturday after the death of his father in an airplane accident earlier this week.

Tulane coach Curtis Johnson opened his Tuesday media conference by relaying the tragic news. Cairo Santos Sr. is a stunt pilot.

"Two days ago he lost his father in a plane crash," Johnson said. "He's back in Brazil right now. In fact the funeral is going on right now. Our thoughts and our prayers are with him. We just want him to heal. If he's at the game, he's at the game. If he's not, we do understand. He lost his father, who was a great man. I had a chance to spend some time with him at the (Home Depot) ESPN Awards (show), and he was a very, very likable guy."

Johnson said he did not know all of the details of the accident, but said Santos told him the engine failed and the plane crashed.

"I talked to Cairo this morning," Johnson said. "They were flying the body back getting ready for the funeral."

Santos has made 25 consecutive field goals dating to the start of last year, including a 51-yarder off a high snap that forded him to hesitate against Louisiana Tech last Thursday. He is five shy of the NCAA record of 30 set by Chuck Nelson at Washington.

If Santos is unavailable, walk-on sophomore Steven Broccoli will replace him. Broccoli hit 11 of 16 field goals as a senior at Fordham Prep in New York City with a long of 40 yards.

"He was perfect today (in practice)," Johnson said. "He did well."

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