The Utah football program will be honoring Lauren McCluskey, a track and field student-athlete at the university who was murdered earlier this week on Monday, October 22. The Utes will pay tribute to McCluskey’s life with a special helmet decal for this week’s game against the UCLA Bruins in Pasadena.
Utah showed off the decal — a track cleat with wings — on social media which you can see above. In addition to the Utes football team’s tribute, a number of other athletic teams at the school honored her memory or plan to do so in the coming days.
The women’s volleyball team held a moment of silence ahead of their game against Washington State, which is located in Lauren’s hometown of Pullman, along with giving out stickers of the winged foot logo to the crowd.
The soccer game between Utah and UCLA on Thursday, October 25 will also include a moment of silence with Utah players wearing wristbands with a heart logo and the initials “LM.” On Friday, October 26, along with the football team’s tribute, the Utes cross country team will wear black uniforms with a heart and Lauren’s initials for the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships at Stanford.
A vigil for McCluskey was held on Wednesday night.
The No. 23 Utes and Bruins are set to kickoff at the Rose Bowl on Friday, October 26 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the game will be provided by ESPN.
More information on the murder of McCluskey can be seen below.
Lauren McCluskey, a track and field athlete at the University of Utah, was found dead on Monday night murdered in a car near campus. The suspect, a 37-year-old registered sex offender named Melvin Rowland, was found dead later in the night of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to police, Rowland forced his way into a church after committing the murder and then took his own life.
“It is with tremendous sadness that I share the news that Lauren McCluskey, an accomplished student-athlete who came to the University of Utah from Pullman, Washington, was killed Monday night on our campus,” university president Ruth V. Watkins said in a statement.
“Lauren was a highly regarded member of the university’s track and field team and an outstanding scholar, a senior majoring in communication. Several members of our university administration spoke with Lauren’s family last night and I have also reached out to them. Her family is understandably in shock at this news about their daughter. They are heartbroken. We have and continue to offer our full support to them at this terrible time.”