April 19th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

About right. Would that we could get some more voices on this.

The kid's family won't sue so there's just not a lot of danger here for ND to do anything other than let this pass. 


April 19th, 2011 at 12:15 PM ^

I love how ND says they conducted an internal investigation like it means anything. They have zero legal authority. They're just a school. Of course they're investigation won't conclude with heads rolling. ND isn't going to do the right thing on their own. The justice system needs to drop the hammer. I'll tell ya if there was justice they would get sued so bad that the family would be changing the name to the Fighting Sullivans when it's over.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

ND probably paid, and paid handsomely to the family under the table for all this to go away.  No family loses a child from negligence and goes quietly in this day and age.  ND is no different than any other business or major university.  Do what you have to keep the money rolling in and cover up what you can. 


April 19th, 2011 at 12:45 PM ^

I love Michigan as much as the next person.  However, if my kid was killed in as stupid a fashion as when Declan Sullivan died, a lawsuit would definitely be one of the things on my mind.  I'm not a Domer and I'm aware that they have deep cultural roots in the Catholic community, but ND's handling of the situation would make me extremely angry if it was my child that had died during practice in that fashion.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:47 PM ^

I agree, and said so a million times. But that doesn't mean that their reasoning had to do with a settlement. I would sue the shit out of anyone/anywhere/anything if this happened to a kid of mine or anyone else where I would have legal standing. That doesn't mean they did. Again, I think you're right, but that doesn't mean they took money and that's their motive.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

  1. Fear of harming the university.
  2. The belief that this was truly an accident.
  3. Fear of losing Brian Kelly or other admin figures.
  4. Religion (but I don't really understand this line of thought)
  5. Not liking the litigious society we live in.

Obviously they have their reasons, for the last time, I don't agree with them. However, that doesn't make them bad people who "value a settlement over the truth" (paraphrasing). We simply don't know, and until we know we should leave it at that.


April 19th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

However, to me, this seems like an attempt to sweep the whole situation under the rug and pretend like it never happened.  ND alumni are following suit and not demanding an investigation, better institutional control, firings, reorganization, or the like.  This isn't some grand conspiracy to cover up the facts; this is an attempt to act like a "simple accident" happened, and that's that.  It's true that conjecture is all we the bloggers can do at this point in the game, but this whole situation seems fishy, at best.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:40 PM ^

1) don't take any money and

2) STFU?

Why isn't it fair? If they choose money > the truth, then they deserve the criticism that comes with the decision. If they didn't accept any payment and didn't care for the truth to be made public, they still deserve criticism in my book.

Honestly, I cannot understand why the family isn't saying anything at all.


Captain Scumbag

April 19th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

Could it be that they see things differently than you? Perhaps they even agree with the findings?

You seem to be coming at this that Brian Kelly had some sort of "Code Red" moment, ordering Sullivan up into the lift and that's "the truth" that everybody knows and the family is party to covering up.

In fact, it's really not. Kelly and the coaching staff made the decision to practice outside. The decision for videographers to use the lifts or not was made by the video staff (Collins). Collins was using improper information to judge whether lifts were safe to use, although he was diligently checking in on the conditions.

There were many failings along the way for this tragedy to occur. Some demand a pound of flesh. Others just hope that policies and practices change (which ND has taken steps towards) to prevent this from happening again. Unfortuantely, neither will restore Declan.


April 19th, 2011 at 3:18 PM ^

I'm curious, how much was this settlement worth? When was it signed? What were the terms? Was the nondisclosure an idea from the Sullivans or was it ND? Was it a lump sum payment or is it paid over a period of time? What would that period of time be?

Just curious, since apparently you know they settled out of court.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:57 PM ^

I'll rip it up.  Pretty much everything in sports is on the table as far as I'm concerned, but this damn well better not be.  A 20 year old kid died and it's a tragedy.

I've got to think our fans are better than that - but in this world, who knows.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:27 PM ^

He makes such a good point about Kelly. It's pretty ridiculous that he is still employed at ND; I cannot think of another school (at least one not in the SEC) that would allow a student to die on the watch of a coach and then have the school applaud that same coach in the fall.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:36 PM ^

... below the article is even more sad.  You basically have ND fans supporting the decision.  It's sad that people -- many Michigan fans included -- become so partial that they cannot see the truth in front of them.  This is a human issue, more than a football issue, but it is unfortunate.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:36 PM ^

Is quite apparent. The legacy of your child either A) Decorated in a historic, respected University where halls, rooms and scholarships can dedicated to the young man. Or B) Day `127 of the bitter court struggle between Declan Sullivan vs Notre Dame, trial ends Notre Dame moves on and lawyers collect. Certainly there was a payout, donation whatever you want to call it. As much as I dislike ND on the football field is one thing but OSHA discussions over scissors lifts wont get you anywhere especially if it doesnt pertain to you or your child.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:36 PM ^

I always find it funny how user Irish fails to opine in instances such as this.  Also how he went quiet for a couple of months following the loss we handed them.  I guarantee you he'll gradually work his way up to commenting quite frequently before this year's game again.  It'll be interesting to see how he behaves if Notre Dame wins.  Has he been a member when they've beaten us before? 


April 19th, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

while Sullivan's death truly was a tragedy, I don't understand what good will come out of finding a single person to pin the blame on.  with things like this, it indeed was a large group of people who collectively made errors and had lapses in judgement that snowballed to cause the final event.  blaming a single person would just similarly ruin that person's life forever.  imagine having to go through life with that burden on your shoulders.  and while sullivan's parents are going through a similar amount of anguish, don't you think that they'd want to spare others of that same pain?  its a sad situation, but maybe its better to have declan's legacy be one of learning and example as opposed to one of retribution.



but i still despise fiutak.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

yes, i agree completely, but the thing is that decisions that affected the final outcome in this scenario likely weren't coming from a centralized source.  there wasn't one guy who decided that they had to use a scissor lift, that the weather was good/bad enough to be outside, that declan should've been the one on the lift, et cetera.


if there had been, sure, fire the dude, he deserves it.  but there wasn't, so there's nothing to be gained by finding a scapegoat and hanging it around his neck.  because that's just as unjust as what happened to sullivan.


sometimes its more useful to try and learn from a situation, and remember the lessons and hold that pain to improve the future, than to try and salve it away by just punishing someone, especially when there's no single person to punish.


April 19th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

Kelly (HC)- "We're practicing outside."

Collins (Video coordinator)- "Mr. Kelly, the wind is too much for our videographers to be up in lifts."

Kelly- "Fuck that, we're practicing outside."


Kelly- "We're going to practice outside."

Collins- "Hell yea, I don't see a problem here at all."

Either way, one of them is directly responsible IMO.


April 19th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

Collins didn't do his job, and the kid died.

"The Investigation found that Declan checked the weather before practice via and, from that webpage, accessed the text of the wind warning.  The warning indicated the possibility of gusts of up to 60 mph.  Klunder, Collins, and Russ did not recall seeing the wind warning when they checked the weather before practice nor accessing the details of that warning"

His job was to ensure safety, he didn't. That's one of the big reasons ND got slapped by the limited hand of IOSHA. Collins didn't do his job, which is what my second conversation said. I was making a point that someone is directly responsible, whether it's Collins or Kelly, there's single person blame that isn't just being vindictive.

Captain Scumbag

April 19th, 2011 at 1:18 PM ^

The extent of that fault, however, is unclear. What is clear is that Collins wasn't using appropriate information to inform his decision. Was Collins's approach typical for others making similar decisions? If so, his error was systematic. If not, why did he use those particular means for gathering information? Did he lack education? Was he properly educated but using an improper procedure?


April 19th, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

However, somewhere along the line there was a specific person who f'd up. Whether it was Collins (who I too think bears most of the responsibility) or the person who told Collins what to do might not be clear.

I certainly think it's clear enough that through negligence or training that's bad enough, Collins should be out of a job. I'm sure that's not hard to do when IOSHA hits an employees department with sanctions after a death.


April 19th, 2011 at 1:28 PM ^

I think that depends on what you mean as "single out". Taking someone away in handcuffs and charging them with involuntary manslaughter (not that it would actually hold up) is probably too much. However, firing incompetent employees could be seen as "singling them out" and I think it would be very appropriate. Civil liability would be another question. I don't know how much civil law allows a victim to go personally after an employee of the workplace in question, so I don't know how good/bad as a singling out method it would be.