Posted by Tom Fornelli
The first year on the sidelines as Notre Dame head coach hasn't been an easy one for Brian Kelly. Along with the struggles his team has seen on the field, there have been a lot of distractions off the field as well. Most notably, the death of video assistant Declan Sullivan, who died when a scissor-lift he was filming practice from toppled over due to high winds.
Now, just a few weeks after dealing with that tragedy, another one has been laid at Brian Kelly's feet. Elizabeth Seeberg was a 19-year old student at St. Mary's who reported to the school police that she had been sexually attacked by a member of the Notre Dame football team on August 31st. Less than two weeks later, Seeberg was found in her dorm room after overdosing on prescription medication in a suicide attempt.
She died later that day at a hospital in South Bend.
All of this took place months ago, but until a story appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, there wasn't much news about it coming from South Bend. Making matters worse, not only did the school fail to comment on the story publicly for two months, but they never turned over any information from the investigation over to St. Joseph County prosecutors.
Something that the school has now done after the story has gone public.
St. Joseph County prosecutor Michael Dvorak said the school forwarded a "voluminous" report on the case on Friday, two days before the story appeared in the Tribune, but also that he was unaware of the story until seeing the story in the paper.
The name of the player in question has not been released, as since he has not been charged with anything, the Tribune has decided not to release his identity. Showing ethics that seem to be lacking at Notre Dame these days.
Obviously, Brian Kelly has had to field a share of questions about this story in the last few days, and his answers are rather appalling. When asked about it by a number of Tribune reporters during a conference call on Sunday, Kelly made a joke about the situation.
"I didn't know [the Tribune] could afford all those guys," cracked Kelly, showing a complete lack of respect to the gravity of the situation.
Kelly then went on to say that anything involving this story is a university matter.
"Anything the article alleges is a university matter," Kelly said. "The process is to dispel rumors and misinformation and get to the facts. And that's what our university is doing."
To be fair to Kelly, this investigation is not his, but the way he tried to deflect the questions doesn't exactly mirror the type of character or integrity he says he tries to hold his players to.