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Mitchell on Notre Dame: Good Might Come

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 19, 2011


Russ Mitchell's reaction to Notre Dame's findings in the Declan Sullivan tragedy.

CFN Analysis   

Mitchell on Notre Dame


By Russ Mitchell  

- Fiutak on the Ruling: Notre Dame, What Are You Doing?
- Cirminiello on the Ruling: A Hollow Report  
- Zemek on the Ruling: Who's To Blame? 

We discussed this in the beginning of March when the university decided to restrict the use of hydraulic lifts, as if it was the sissor lift itself that showed poor judgment.

The lift was no more responsible for the death of Mr. Sullivan than a helmet is responsible for an injury on the field. Neither item possess intent, and thus the responsibility in the death of Sullivan rests with those people who failed to recognize the circumstances. And there were many.

Yes, it's true that these were special circumstances, and the report illustrates them in detail. In particular, the wind conditions that day were truly exceptional.

Even Sullivan himself bears some responsibility for not recognizing the unusual nature of the situation when he was climbing the tower, and deciding for himself that the danger was too high.

Though that's the reason we call them children - they are still learning, and often trying to please. It is the adults with their experience who must ultimately judge the situation and protect the children; and in this case, while the university president wrote a lovely letter accepting ultimate responsibility, it is head coach Chip Kelly, the leader at the scene, whose shoulders must bear the brunt of this tragedy.

We are a nation that shuts the barn door after the horse is out. In almost all aspects of life and business, rather than over regulating/controlling, we prefer to regulate after the fact. Which in this case we will.

New rules will be written. Rules focusing on sports-related observation towers (mobile or stationary) as to weather, use and safety.

Perhaps that is the saving grave for Sullivan - that his senseless passing, this truly unfortunate accident, might ultimately have the future effect of saving others.


- Fiutak on the Ruling: Notre Dame, What Are You Doing?
- Cirminiello on the Ruling: A Hollow Report  
- Zemek on the Ruling: Who's To Blame?