Virginia Tech to hold vigil Tuesday on campus
Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg was arriving at his office at Cassell Coliseum early Monday morning to interview a job applicant when chaos enveloped the campus.
• Va. Tech's Greenberg 'numb'
• Beamer 'in shock'
• Tech president's statement
"I'm numb right now thinking about the parents coming to campus to identify their children," said Greenberg, who was able to get a call out to ESPN.com on Monday afternoon. "It's hard to put into words. What would drive someone to do this?
"This is the most peaceful, tranquil and safe environment. But this shows that there is nowhere that you're safe from tragedy or this type of senseless violence. It's devastating."
Greenberg's first thoughts were to find his daughter, Paige, a freshman who was in the dorm adjacent to where the first shots were fired at the West Ambler Johnston Hall. She was working on a paper. And within minutes she was on her way to a friend's house off campus.
Next, Greenberg and his assistant, Ryan Odom, feverishly began trying to contact their players. All had been found safe by mid-afternoon.
Greenberg and his staff corresponded with the six signees as well Monday. But, as Greenberg said, there wasn't much he could say.
"This is not reflective of Virginia Tech," Greenberg said. "This is an anomaly. This was a freak situation. It shouldn't taint all the great things that Virginia Tech has to offer. This is not a Virginia Tech issue. This was a random act of violence."
During his efforts to contact his team, Greenberg noted that phone lines on campus were jammed with so many people trying to call out. That also means it's making it difficult to text message, which Greenberg said is the quickest way to contact the players.
Greenberg said that freshman forward Terrance Vinson was on his way to the arena when the shots occurred. He eventually got in the building and had to stay in the locker room as the entire campus went on an immediate morning lockdown.
The lockdown ended Monday afternoon and the campus was closed Monday and Tuesday with all classes canceled. A vigil will be held at the coliseum on Tuesday to remember the victims.
The coaches are expected to be briefed by school administrators, including athletic director Jim Weaver, Wednesday morning.
|OTL: VIRGINIA TECH|
The tragedy on the campus of Virginia Tech was the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history, and has left the nation in stunned silence. Today on "Outside the Lines", the latest on the shootings and how the college is coping.
Greenberg said he was under the impression that all coaches were doing the same thing and attempted to find their players.
"We're trying to make sure all our guys get a hold of their families first," Greenberg said. "That's the first thing to put the parents at ease. It has to come from their kids. We're all trying to contact people but we can't get out on the phone or through text messages and it's driving us crazy."
Greenberg said he still can't imagine the grief the families are experiencing.
"All those kids were doing was going to class," Greenberg said. "That's it. They were just going to class."
Greenberg, his wife Karen -- an advisor to a campus sorority where at least one woman was still missing -- and daughter were struggling on Monday evening to come to grips with the tragedy.
"This was such a random, heinous act," Greenberg said.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Xavier completes sweep of No. 21 G'town
- Oklahoma State takes down No. 20 Baylor
- UW dismisses Upshaw for violating team rules
- Unbeatens Kentucky, Virginia still atop AP poll