OT: Why is ND stonewalling the football rape case?

Submitted by Communist Football on December 16th, 2010 at 12:32 PM

There's a lot we don't know, and I certainly recall from the Duke lacrosse case not to prejudge, but this just sounds bad:

The parents of a Northbrook teenager who killed herself a week after accusing a University of Notre Dame football player of sexually attacking her say they feel betrayed by the school they love and that several generations of their family have attended.

Speaking publicly for the first time since their daughter's Sept. 10 death, Tom and Mary Seeberg suggest that the campus police conducted a superficial investigation of their daughter's allegations. They question why, according to a timeline they received from the university, it took police two weeks to interview the player — even after Elizabeth "Lizzy" Seeberg, 19, gave detailed statements and reported receiving a text message warning her about "messing with" the storied football program.

The Tribune story provides a lot of detail about the ND administration dragging their feet about the whole thing.  Why on earth would any academic institution want that kind of reputation?

[FA Edit: Several ignorant comments gets this frozen. They have since been deleted. ]



December 16th, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

and if the player in question did do something wrong he deserves to be punished as harshly as the law allows ...

but that article does not provide any proof, I warn you all that at one point in the duke situation it seemed just as bad (actually worse with multiple players going down), and yet in the end they did nothing illegal and yet a ton of men had their lives destroyed

the devestating part is that the girl is now dead, which tragic in itself,  also limits the chance of the truth ever coming out (either way)


December 16th, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

I think the OP's point, and one I agree with, is that the issue is not what happened between the girl and the player.  The issue is that a crime was reported, and then ... what?  Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, there at least needs to be one, and what was done does NOT appear to be an attempt to uncover the truth of the matter.

I'm not saying you disagree with this, by the way.  I agree with the majority of your comment.  This simply seemed the logical place for this comment to appear.


December 16th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

funny. They actually thought KF was going to fall on a sword for players smoking weed. 

Kelly's got a rape case and a goddamn murder on his sheet in ONE year and nobody is even talking about getting rid of him. 


December 16th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

A rape case is tough.  It doesn't get any easier when the witness is unavailable to tell her side.  Sad story, and now there is only person who knows what happened, and he can't be compelled to testify against himself.   There is no case unless the kid confesses.


December 16th, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

I'm certainly not dissing Catholics but let's be honest, religious institutions have a horrible record of handling any sex crime.  If it's true, it's a damn shame...


December 16th, 2010 at 1:22 PM ^

I agree, but I think the whole truth is that institutions of all stripes have a history of covering up information they don't want public.  It's not just an institutional problem of religious groups.  

As has been said, a proper investigation is warranted and until the university does that or adequately shows they've done that this isn't getting brushed under the rug.


December 16th, 2010 at 1:18 PM ^

The ND Student body received the following e-mail this morning (emphasis is mine):

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As you may have heard or seen, the Chicago Tribune has published another story today concerning the allegations made against a Notre Dame student by Saint Mary’s College student Lizzy Seeberg prior to her death in September.
Let me state first that sexual violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Notre Dame.  We have a wide array of sexual assault education and prevention programs in place and will continue to actively promote these initiatives on our campus.
There is a law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that prohibits universities from publicly discussing specific disciplinary cases.  However, I want to point out that any time the University investigates any potential student violation of the law or university policies, we do so professionally, carefully and thoroughly.  We also recognize that when a family is grieving for a lost child, procedures that are thorough and careful may be perceived as insufficient. The Seebergs have been and continue to be in our prayers.  
At all times, our procedures are judicious and intended to ensure the guilty receive proper punishment.  At the same time, in cases where there is no evidence to support disciplinary action, our process guards the innocent from unsubstantiated accusations.  We cannot and will not change our careful and thorough processes to conform to individual wishes or external pressures.  As most of you know, Notre Dame has never backed away from these practices in the past – and never will.   We take this obligation very seriously. 
In addition, the St. Joseph County prosecutor said in a November 22, 2010, statement that Notre Dame’s Security Police Department has “in the past taken care to conduct thorough investigations of criminal allegations, and have compiled complete reports of their findings, forwarded to this office.”
In all matters, Notre Dame will continue to act with the utmost professionalism and we will pursue matters wherever the facts lead.  As you read stories about any matter that involves our process, I again ask you not to arrive at any premature conclusions.  In any potentially criminal matter, outside agencies, including the prosecutor’s office, have all the information and all the facts to make informed decisions.

Janet M. Botz
Vice President
Office of Public Affairs and Communications


December 16th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

And we complain about DB taking his time . . . this is a whole other magnitude of waiting patiently.

Seriously, I think that many at ND would have liked the whole thing to just stay quiet and go away. At this point, with the Tribune, and the parents, and St. Mary's, and a former federal prosecutor representing the family, this is NOT going to go away. Not now, not later. It is true that sometimes, if you wait long enough, things settle down, and people forget. I just don't see that happening with this sad story. In fact, if the Tribune just writes another story on about a four week cycle, they'll get a bump in reader hits, keep it out there, and the constant drip, drip, drip is going to damage ND more than if they dealt with it firmly and quickly.

There's one thing I don't understand. In many cases, someone who is accused is put on leave or suspended until resolution of the matter, one way or another. With such a serious accusation, why hasn't Kelly suspended the player until the matter is resolved? With the player being allowed to continue as an active part of the team, it appears that ND & the team aren't taking this seriously.

One other observation. The family has clearly shown restraint in not publicly identifying the player in question. This is to their credit.


December 16th, 2010 at 1:19 PM ^

You can go into all kinds of  rape denials or accusations, but the only thing that can work this out is scientific evidence that has been legally obtained.

The previous articles on this mention that the woman did report the rape and that the police dept. did obtain DNA samples.  The police can match the sample with the alleged rapist.  

That Kelly needs to do is to make this player totally availible to the police.  If the player refuses to give a DNA sample for comparison he needs to be ejected from the team permanently.    No hiding them, no protecting them.