The Center for Public Integrity
Notre Dame’s high-profile re-emergence among college football’s elite has brought new attention and fresh scrutiny to a two-year-old case involving a Notre Dame player and allegations of sexual assault.
In August 2010, 19-year-old freshman Lizzy Seeberg accused the athlete of sexually assaulting her in his dorm. She filed a report with campus police, which sat on it for two weeks before even interviewing him. By then, Seeberg had committed suicide. Administrators would later convene a closed-door campus disciplinary hearing — three months after Seeberg’s death became national news — in which the player was found “not responsible.”
In the university’s only direct public comment on the Seeberg case, Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune in December 2010 that university police had conducted a “thorough and judicious investigation that followed the facts where they led and exhibited the integrity that I believe characterizes this institution.” He acknowledged, however, that the investigation could have been conducted “more quickly, perhaps.” Separately, the university issued a statement the same month stating that it had no tolerance for sexual violence and had “a wide array of sexual assault education and prevention programs in place.