The blood of a 19-year-old girl spills like an oil slick over the football team and the school administration. They should still be thinking about what happened in the chill of the Sun Bowl. They should be thinking about what Tom and Mary Seeberg must have felt like when they received the news that their daughter, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Seeberg, a freshman at neighboring St. Mary’s College, had died.
Not from natural causes. Not in a car accident. But by suicide 11 days after making an allegation of sexual assault against a university football player at the end of August. The school administration and the Notre Dame police department should be ashamed about an inexcusably sloppy investigation at best and a deliberate coverup at worst. But there is no shame when a football game is to be played, however meaningless, and this Sun Bowl is completely meaningless. There is still money is to be made.
The accuser became the accused. There were the reports that she suffered from depression and anxiety and was on the medication Effexor (so am I, as well as three other ones). There were the reports that the day before she died, she told a counselor that she had had a panic attack earlier that evening and was having suicidal thoughts. From the point of view of the Notre Dame football team, that had to be something of a relief: She was an unbalanced cuckoo clock.
As for the accused, who has not been publicly named, he continued to play. On New Year’s Day, the newly hired University of Pittsburgh football coach was fired within 24 hours of being released from jail on a charge of domestic assault even though he claimed innocence. At ESPN, announcer Ron Franklin was fired this week for sexist remarks made to a sideline reporter during a staff meeting. But the Fighting Irish march on, those golden helmets still blinding a football program deep in the muck.