Team intern dies after leukemia battle

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame football team suffered a tragic loss Tuesday morning, as team intern and fifth-year student Xavier Murphy died of complications of leukemia.

"He was an awesome, high-energy, fun guy," Brian Kelly said. "And he got really close to a lot of the staff, because as a senior manager you're on the road with us, you're taking attendance, you're getting the snacks out, you're helping us out with our gear. It's a tough loss."

Murphy, 22, had complained of back pain four weeks ago. Kelly said Irish trainers sent him for an MRI, which revealed the bad news.

The team gathered in prayer after practice Tuesday.

“Our prayers and condolences go out to Xavier’s family and friends,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, said in a statement. “By all accounts he was an exceptional and greatly loved young man who will be deeply missed.”