TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Luke Ratliff passed away unexpectedly Friday, April 2, 2021 due to an illness. He was 23-years-old and set to graduate from Alabama this spring.
“It’s impossible, I can’t even put into words what Luke meant to me,” said friend Reagan Starner.
Ratliff, mostly known as Fluffopotamus, loved Alabama basketball to his core. He was widely known at games for leading the student section in cheers and his plaid jackets.
“Sitting there in the student section, we would always see a big ole guy in a plaid jacket at all times and he’s always been the life of the student section,” said Alabama student Dillon McClain.
“I know he made a heck of an impact on me, and I know he made a heck of an impact on our student body, this university and community,” said Alabama Athletics Director Greg Byrne.
Through the Crimson Tide Foundation, the Luke “Fluffopotamus” Ratliff Memorial Gift Fund has been created. This fund is designed to assist the future presidents of Crimson Chaos, specifically the leader of the men’s basketball student section, with travel expenses to road events as well as merchandise for students and promotional giveaways.
The newly elected president of Crimson Chaos will also be presented a plaid jacket as part of the Tide Tipoff preseason basketball event to wear at games as Ratliff did. Additionally, a plaque will be affixed on the seat he continually occupied in Coleman Coliseum, and that seat will be reserved for the sitting president.
Head football coach Nick Saban said, “I know Luke Ratliff was a great fan here. He loved the University of Alabama. I just want his family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Certainly a difficult circumstance for all of us, and he’s certainly going to be missed. God bless you all.”