It’s easy to make a man into a monster with a narrative like Brian Kelly: he’s a first-year football coach at a top-tiered athletic school who already has the blood of two young students on his hands. But because of his great track record leading his teams to victories, Brian has yet to reprimanded by the school, though his behavior regarding these two deaths has made more than one journalistic outlet call for his resignation and queston the school’s ethics this week.
In August, a 19-year-old student named Lizzy Seeberg from St. Mary’s college filed a sexual assault report with Notre Dame campus police, pointing to one of their football players on Facebook as the perpetrator. Several days later, she killed herself with an overdose of Effexor. It’s been unclear what role the school took to protect its student: either the charges were never filed with the county police until post-mortem, or the case was casually tossed aside by the district police. Either way, you’d think that the man leading one of these possible assailants into game time would be a little more judicious about his words.
Yet Brian Kelly, who says he came to coach at Notre Dame because he has “the same standards that our university does,” made light of the event during a teleconference several days later. When pressed by reporters at The Chicago Tribune for answers regarding Lizzy’s death, Kelly replied:
“I didn’t know you guys could afford all those guys,” …a reference to Tribune Company’s lingering bankruptcy.
We can see why Brian would be on the defensive, but refusing to speak out on the matter hasn’t made him any friends, especially since none of the football players from the team have been kept out of games. Of course, Brian is down one man: the team’s videographer, Declan Sullivan, who died in October after the hydraulic lift tower he was filming from collapsed in perilous weather conditions. It seems like that matter too was swept under the rug and away from Brian or the team’s reputation, despite the fact that the details of the death remain inconsistent (like why Declan was up on that tower in the first place, after the team was forced to practice indoors the day before, when the weather hadn’t been as bad).
Both cases are full of so many holes and missing parts, but the new coach has managed to remain on staff despite his callous and dangerous decisions regarding his team. Do you think Brian should be fired, or is merely keeping quiet in the face of several ongoing investigations part of his job?