Embattled Notre Dame football program faces new allegation

The embattled Notre Dame football program, still reeling from the death of team videographer Declan Sullivan less than a month ago, now faces allegations that a 19-year-old woman from neighboring St. Mary’s College committed suicide nine days after she told Notre Dame police she was sexually attacked by a member of the football team.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Elizabeth Seeberg overdosed on prescription medication in September in her dorm room and the alleged attacker has remained on the field for the Irish. The Tribune did not name the attacker because he has not been charged with a crime, but according to the story school officials don’t seem very interested in pursuing the case.

According to the story, Notre Dame “refuses to publicly acknowledge the case,” and school officials did not contact St. Joseph County (Ind.) Police investigating the death of Seeberg and inform them of the sexual attack. The school also failed to refer the case to the special victims unit in St. Joseph County designed to handle sex cases.

Now, Seeberg’s family has hired former federal prosecutor Zachary Fardon to investigate the matter. All of this began before Sullivan, a 20-year-old junior, was killed during practice Oct. 27. High winds that day pushed over the scissors lift he was in filming practice, an accidental death that has led to widespread criticism of the football program, including coach Brian Kelly and athletic director Jack Swarbrick. There’s expected to be significant fallout.

The school has not made Kelly or Swarbrick available to the Tribune on the matter involving Seeberg.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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