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Tulane PK Cairo Santos's father dead in stunt plane crash

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Cairo Santos celebrates a field goal vs. South Alabama in Week 2. (USATSI)
Cairo Santos celebrates a field goal vs. South Alabama in Week 2. (USATSI)
Tulane placekicker Cairo Santos may miss his team's Saturday game at Syracuse after his father was killed in a plane crash in his native Brazil.

Green Wave coach Curtis Johnson told reporters Tuesday, including the Baton Rouge Advocate, that Santos had left the team to attend his father's funeral service. Though Johnson did not have full details of the crash, he said Santos's father was a stunt pilot, and his plane had experienced an engine failure.

“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.”

The tragedy may interrupt Santos's run at an NCAA record. After hitting all 21 of his field goal attempts in 2012 -- and earning consensus All-American honors and the Lou Groza Award along the way --Santos has now stretched his streak of consecutive makes to 25, 5 short of the NCAA record of 30.

Santos has hit all four of his kicks this season, including a 51-yarder in last week's 24-15 win over Louisiana Tech.

Johnson said that if Santos cannot make the Syracuse game, he will be replaced by sophomore Steven Broccoli. Broccoli has never appeared in a college game.

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