Police in Panama City, Florida are saying that St. Xavier high school student and Notre Dame recruit Matt James was “drunk and belligerent” at the time of his fatal fall from a third floor hotel balcony.
"It appears to be a tragic accident," Panama City Beach police Maj. David Humphreys said told the Boston Herald.
"Witnesses and friends indicate he had become drunk and belligerent," Humphreys added. "He had leaned over the balcony rail, was shaking his finger at the people in the next room over. He fell over."
The offensive tackle was one of Notre Dame’s marquee signings. James was on spring break vacation with fellow Fighting Irish recruit Luke Massa at the time of the accident.
"The Notre Dame football program is in a state of disbelief and incredible sadness with the news of this tragic event," said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly in a statement.
"Matt was an extremely talented person who was very bright and possessed a great dry sense of humor. He could not wait to join the Notre Dame family."
Police are also investigating how James, a minor, procured the alcohol.