Secrecy Regarding Death of Stanford Volleyball Player Sam Wopat Causing Massive Speculation

A beautiful little girl is lost, but why allow her name to be drug through the mud?

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.  Young 19-year-old Samantha Wopat, a star of Stanford’s volleyball team, died suddenly on Sunday, March 25, 2012.  She had been admitted into the Stanford Hospital in Stanford, California since March 17 after a “medical emergency” at her residence on the campus.  No cause of death was revealed in the announcement.  Now, days later, Stanford University officials have greeted the curiosity of media and the general public with an even more mystifying announcement.  The cause of death will not be identified.

The announcement cites concerns from the family over privacy as the reason that the cause of death for the 19-year-old in great health’s early demise will not be revealed.  However, many want to know more.  After all, this is not any 19-year-old that dropped dead suddenly, but an athlete.  Wopat was recognized as a force in the collegiate volleyball force even upon entry as a freshman.  She recorded an enviable .571 hitting percentage in her first year.  She had a rich history in the sport, even representing the United States on three junior Olympic volleyball teams.

The problem with a story like this is that the mysterious nature of it only fuels speculation, and inevitably, conspiracy theories.  There are many out there that believe that Miss Wopat’s “medical emergency” amounted to something that Stanford University, known for academic excellence first and foremost, was not particularly proud of.  Could this have been some sort of illegal drug overdose that would have thrown some dirt on the University’s name?  Eager to not have any party-type reputation, did Stanford cover up some sort of alcohol or drug abuse situation to protect itself and blame it on the family’s privacy?

We at Common Sense Conspiracy hate that any of this even has to arise.  This passing of this young woman is an extraordinarily sad event, but even if it had some sordid cause, such as drugs or alcohol, at its root, there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to judge or lessen the short life of Sam Wopat.  The tragedy here is that no more details are being released, because that leaves the media machine to concoct its own theories, most of which will only cast young Samantha’s life in a negative light.  It seems like a lot of good could come out of simply releasing the cause of death and dispelling any rumors or conspiracy theories that might arise (or more accurately, have risen).  We all understand a family’s privacy, but a little more information might stop a hailstorm of ugly speculation that will no doubt only further traumatize Wopat’s family.

We extend our condolences, once again, to Sam’s family and friends, and we reiterate that regardless of what really happened here, it is a tragedy and her life should not be devalued one iota.  However, Stanford University and the family needs to understand that sometimes silence can be louder than words.

19 thoughts on “Secrecy Regarding Death of Stanford Volleyball Player Sam Wopat Causing Massive Speculation”

  1. Ms. Wopat was passionate about health food. She never touched alcohol or drugs. Please don’t make false accusations and speculation. Nothing is served by this. The details will emerge in due time. Let the parents grieve and bury their child. Then the story will come out.

    1. First of all, thanks so much for stopping by our site. Our article was actually written in the spirit of stopping just such accusations. We merely pointed out that the fact that the cause of death is not being revealed is only encouraging such theories. Any real analysis of our article will show that we were proposing that delaying the facts is only causing more speculation, and for that, we are sorry and hope you are too. You are absolutely right about everything but the idea that we are making false accusations. We are actually on your side in fighting those very accusations. Thanks so much and for the third time, our condolences go out to the Wopat family.

  2. Do you know it was suicide or are you speculating? Drugs, alcohol, suicide are the things most everyone is thinking since Stanford and the family are purposely being secretive. I get that the family needs to grieve but I hope in a few days, they will release the cause of death, especially if it was drugs, alcohol or suicide. We need to talk about these as much or more than almost any other cause of death. Only if we have open dialog about the hard subjects can we hope to help more people. I am so sorry for Sam, her family and friends. No matter what the cause of her death, her public persona can help educate others and maybe help prevent another tragedy.

    1. If you read the article in Stanford Daily (Google it) it is obvious in the comments that suicide is the cause of death. I feel very sorry for her family’s loss and pain, but not addressing it is worse. It is not shameful and her death might help others seek help. She appeared to be bright, talented, beautiful – her situation should not be cloaked in mystery.

      1. Suicide is the likely cause and in time the family will address it. As the sister of one who committed suicide unexpectedly…I can tell you they will never heal unless they become open. Its tragic, and no one should ever be judged for suicide …depression is an illness as indiscriminate as cancer. It doesn’t mean anything is “wrong” with a family and should not be cast in shame, just sorrow. The family needs support I’m sure.

  3. compassion > morbid curiosity.

    Newshound your name speaks for itself. You don’t care about the wopat’s. Your comments are cynical, and mean spirited. You don’t care about helping others. Judging others when you are clueless to what is happening and how people are feeling shows arrogance at a new level and is becoming the norm on the internet.

    Newshound if you are so worried about suicide why aren’t people like you volunteering in call centers for suicide organizations? Most that help never have gone through a suicidal situation so you have no excuses? Go help? You seem angered at the Wopats so why aren’t you doing it?

    You know why you aren’t going to help or you don’t help? Because you just want to know the morbid details of what happened and you don’t care about suicide or Sam Wopat. You just arrogantly say that so you can judge and make yourself look better. This is what the internet has become. Giving a voice to people who are clueless.

    First of all federal HiPAA regulations for medical privacy make it a federal crime to divulge someones health issues WITHOUT their consent. I’m in the medical field and know many people who have been sued and paid fines and lost their jobs for releasing information on cause of death, AIDS, or other medical ailment. A group of UCLA nurses were fined and fired when Britney Spears was hospitalized.

    The Stanford team and school were asked by the Wopat’s not to discuss it right now and they can’t and won’t and that’s alright by me.

    My family unfortunately went through something like this. We didn’t care what the rumors made by those that didn’t know us were. All we cared about was seeing what happened and how in the world could we get through it. Unfortunately the media would knock on different family members doors and we we’re called at all hours of the night to ask what happened.

    Our family member was prominent in the corporate world and very wealthy. All we wanted was to mourn. The pain, anger, and guilt we felt was pure torture. It never goes away and you never get over it. So many wanted to know what happened in the “name of helping others” when they didnt’ care about us or others. They just wanted to know what happened.

    I became the spokesperson for the family and to hear the ridiculous speculation so many had was unreal. They said he died of drugs, had affairs, was an alcoholic, must have embezzled money, etc… All of which were not true. He had lost his child and the pain was too much for him and he never got over it, and he shot himself. The damage to his reputation was done though.

    The computer screen and a cell phone is like alcohol to many. They are brash, opinionated, and have no heart.

    Let these poor people grieve in peace. Our society is mean spirited and judgmental and compassion is rare these days. Read the room and realize that this will be talked about in due time. Their daughter isn’t even buried yet and so many trolls on the internet want answers; and now; when in reality they could care less about the Wopat’s or the situation.

    What they are going through is pure hell on earth and it never ends. It’s not their job to be a spokesperson for anything. In reality sometimes you never know what really happens and the questions themselves haunt you. And athletes also don’t get free health care with their scholarship. A new rule passed made colleges make sure their athletes had health coverage but some don’t even do that.

    Here your poor daughter is dead and now you get a 6 figure bill in the mail.

    Again, in due time. It’s not our right to know everything. So many celebs and non celebs pimping their lives out for a buck or for attention. Some are not that way.

    The internet has destroyed our right to privacy; let it not destroy our compassion.

  4. How was I being cynical or mean spirited??? I wrote a fact, expressed sorrow for the family and said she should not die in vain. I am sorry your loss too, but that does not make you the arbiter of what is acceptable to say after a suicide. Get a grip.

  5. she attempted suicide her sister and friend found her in her room. she tried hanging herself. so so so sad:( i played against the sisters all the time during club season. they were the nicest girls:(

  6. Every parent’s worst nightmare is having a rumor mill masquerading as a news outlet spreading unsupported theories about how a young girl lost her life. Commonsenseconspiracy is the embodiment of the media machine that it critizes while simultaneously speculating without reason.

  7. @ jim, i don’t think its fair for you to say that about this website. They are not hiding the truth, they are posting what is being posted on stanford daily . if the parents wanted to stop the rumors they should of been more honest. The truth may help save someone elses child.

  8. jpm and jim must be the same person, i keep seeing your compassion> morbid curiosity, what about ” the truth will set you free”

  9. JPM, Jim, JamarkMa, Cardinal22, Iceman4444…are all very likely the same person. They are all intolerant of differing opinions, use the same turns of phrase, refer to similar personal circumstances, and express essentially the feelings. And if you annoy them they resort to profanity. The posts are all over the blogs regarding Sam Wopat’s death. I find it hypocritical that this poster accuses the online community of having a merely prurient interest in this story and the internet in general when it appears that he or she is using it for the ego boost of reading their own words and opinions ONLINE.

  10. Lets be frank about it; a young healthy 19 year old does not die from natural causes suddenly. It’s most definitely one of three things, alcohol, drugs or suicide.

    For someone to suggest these very things does not mean they are mean spirited or disrespectful in any way what-so-ever.

    If the family embraced openness to help others with similar issues they would avoid all speculation…


      >>Samantha “Sam” Wopat ’14, a member of the women’s volleyball team, died Sunday, March 25, at Stanford Hospital following a weeklong battle in the intensive care unit. Wopat was hospitalized Saturday, March 17, after attempting suicide in her Suites residence.<<

      She had been greatly overshadowed by her twin who started most games, while she never started, and was only used as an occasional sub as late as the 3rd set. Her sister won awards and was recognized nationally at the end of the season; she did not and was not.

      1. kalispera,tis teleutaies meres sktaoemfi sovara pws 8a htan na valw telos sth zwh mou..sth sxolh mou xrwstaw ena swro ma8hmata kai eimai sto ptyxio kai apla prospa8w na ta mazepsw oso mporw..xrwstaw kapoia xrhmata ta opoia den mporw na mazepsw th parousa fash alla prepei na ta dwsw..exw metanoiwsei gia kapoies epiloges pou ekana sto parel8on,alla ayto den me noiazei toso giati o,ti egine 8ema einai to parwn..kai teleytaio kai pio sovaro..eimai erwteumenos me mia kopela edw kai 2 mhnes sumpatriwtisa mou alla spoudazei se diaforetikh polh apo mena kai milame mono sto chat..alla exei deixei kapoio endiaferon..wstoso shmera ema8a oti xwrise prin kapoio kairo kai oti 8elei na zhsei th zwh ths eleu8erh..alla me th stash ths sto chat me mperdeuei polu gt m deixnei shmadia kai oti endiaferetai..8elw na paw na thn vrw na ths pw osa ais8anomai gia ekeinh kai na prospa8hsw na vgalw apo to myalo mou to 8ema ths autoktonias pou sktaoemfi giati einai ontws apotelesma deilias


    >>Samantha “Sam” Wopat ’14, a member of the women’s volleyball team, died Sunday, March 25, at Stanford Hospital following a weeklong battle in the intensive care unit. Wopat was hospitalized Saturday, March 17, after attempting suicide in her Suites residence.<<

    She had been greatly overshadowed by her twin who started most games, while she never started, and was only used as an occasional sub as late as the 3rd set. Her sister won awards and was recognized nationally at the end of the season; she did not and was not. Sad.

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