UNLV Fraternity Suspended After Student With No Boxing Experience Dies After Match

University of Nevada, Las Vegas fraternity Kappa Sigma is suspended after student Nathan Tyler Valencia, who had no boxing experience, died after a charity match.

Both the school and the fraternity's national organization suspended the UNLV chapter while each entity performs investigations of the incident. Mitchell Wilson, a Kappa Sigma executive, said the international office started looking into the event Monday to see "whether Kappa Sigma's internal policies and standards of conduct were followed" by the UNLV chapter.

"Kappa Sigma Fraternity expects all of our chapters to conform with all applicable state and local laws," Wilson said Thursday in a statement.

On Wednesday, UNLV President Keith Whitfield issued the order of suspension, telling the fraternity to "cease all operations and activities."

"Its status as a registered student organization is revoked pending the outcome of an investigation by the university and its Office of Student Conduct," Whitfield said.

The Nevada Athletic Commission, which didn't license the event, also launched an investigation. It oversees what Nevada law calls "contests and exhibitions of unarmed combat." Commission Chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck said the agency was never involved in any of the matches Kappa Sigma has hosted for years.

Valencia, 20, was a junior at the university. He died from head trauma on Nov. 23 after collapsing at the boxing match on Nov. 19. His death was declared a homicide by the Clark County coroner, but Las Vegas police said that while Valencia's death is tragic, there will be no charges because no criminal act was committed.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

UNLV, Boxing Match, Death, Kappa Sigma
University of Nevada, Las Vegas fraternity Kappa Sigma has been suspended after an incident at a charity boxing match left a student dead and is being investigated by the university, its national organization, and the Nevada Athletic Commission. In this photo, a person rides a scooter on a walkway on campus at UNLV amid the spread of COVID-19 on September 9, 2020. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Attorneys Ryan Zimmer and Nick Lasso, representing Valencia's parents, called suspending the fraternity "a step in the right direction" and said the family is cooperating with investigators. Valencia's mother has said her son had no previous boxing experience.

Zimmer and Lasso have said witnesses told them there were no paramedics or medical personnel at the venue and that the man who served as referee of Valencia's fight was recorded on video drinking from a beer can.

The UNLV Kappa Sigma Facebook page listed this year's "Fight Night" on Nov. 19 as its 10th annual and said the event raised more than $100,000 over the years. It called the exhibition "an exhilarating fundraiser where various students of all different backgrounds volunteer to participate to fight in a 3-round mixed martial arts match."

Money raised was for Center Ring Boxing, a Las Vegas-area youth boxing organization. Telephone messages left this week with Center Ring Boxing were not immediately returned.

Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Melody Rose said Wednesday the state university Board of Regents planned to assist authorities' investigations.

The Kappa Sigma chapter at UNLV dates to 1967 and was the first fraternity on campus, according to a university website. UNLV now has about three dozen social fraternities and sororities.

Kappa Sigma dates to 1869 at the University of Virginia. It is one of the largest fraternities in the world with more than 300 active chapters and colonies in North America.