LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada State Athletic Commission has launched an investigation into the fraternity charity boxing event that UNLV student Nathan Valencia took part in days before he died from blunt force head trauma.
During a live stream news conference Tuesday, Chairman Stephan J. Cloobeck said the commission takes this tragedy very seriously. “Our hearts go out to the Valencia family and loved ones,” he said. “This is unnecessary and shouldn’t have happened.”
Valencia, 20, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity took part in the charity boxing event held by the Kappa Sigma fraternity on Nov. 19. He collapsed after his boxing match and died four days later.
Cloobeck said the commission doesn’t have the ability to sanction the event but does have the ability to investigate it.
“This is a homicide as the coroner expressed,” Cloobeck said. “This is an event that Metro needs to fully investigate as a homicide.”
Cloobeck said they will investigate whether proper paramedics were at the charity boxing event and whether the referee was ever licensed.
He said the commission will be transparent and look at every aspect of the event.
“The fraternities under the auspices of UNLV, the president, the chancellor, and of course the Board of Regents, they all have some explaining to do,” he said. “With regard to the university having knowledge of this and accepting and allowing this… they can not duck, hide, bob and weave on this.”
Cloobeck suggested that it’s possible that while the Nevada State Athletic Commission has no jurisdiction over this sort of event currently, that could change following the investigation.
He said if any wrongdoing is found the enforcement of the actions will be handled based on state laws.