The father of Tulane kicker Cairo Santos was killed in a plane crash Sunday, Green Wave coach Curtis Johnson said.
Tulane did not have full details on the incident but Johnson said Santos’ father was a stunt pilot and was told an engine failure occurred.
Cairo Santos is currently in his native Brazil mourning the death, and his status for Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. game at Syracuse is uncertain. The reigning Lou Groza Award winner and consensus All-American converted his 25th consecutive field goal attempt — a 51-yarder — during last Thursday’s 24-15 win over Louisiana Tech.
“We just want him to heal,” Johnson said. “If he’s at the game, he’s at the game. If not, we understand. He lost his father, who was a great man.”
If Santos is unable to play on Saturday, Johnson said he’ll use Steven Broccoli at the position. The sophomore has never appeared in a college game, after sitting out all of last season after earning a three-star rating by KohlsKicking.com as high school prospect in New York City.
Johnson declined to state how far Broccoli’s field goal range expands, but said he’ll likely start implementing more fourth down plays to make up for the difference.
“Yes, I do know (his range),” Johnson said. “It’s a ‘not going to tell.’ I’ll let Syracuse find out what it is at the game.”