Notre Dame Student Dies in Football Field Accident



Declan Sullivan, a 20-year-old Notre Dame junior from Long Grove, Ill., died today while filming Notre Dame football practice for the Department of Athletics from a hydraulic scissor lift at the LaBar Practice Complex. He was killed by an accident that occurred when a film tower fell over.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation. The University continues to make pastoral care and grief counseling available to students. Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly released the following statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Declan’s family and friends. Declan was a diligent student worker in our video department and had a tremendous personality and great sense of humor. He brightened the days for all that had the privilege to work with him, and the Notre Dame football family will dearly miss him.”

The accident happened at approximately 4:50 p.m. Sullivan was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where he later died.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “Our hearts go out to the student’s family and friends and our prayers and profound sympathies are with them during this incredibly difficult time. The loss of someone so young is a terrible shock and a great sadness. Our entire community shares in the family’s grief.”

A special Mass will be held at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday (Oct. 28) in Sullivan’s memory. The Mass will begin at 10 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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  1. Man, that’s bad. 50 foot high tower falling down from 51 mph winds while video taping practice. That was a stupid move by ND Football though. I heard it can only with stand 29 mph at the most. Awful. The question being asked at ND now is, who is gonna video tape football practice if anyone wants to now?

  2. I seriously thought it was something structural because I just figured you wouldn’t send anyone up there on such a windy day. We felt the effects of the Chiclone, it was brutal.

    And yes I agree, going to be difficult to ask/expect anyone to take on this task now

  3. FRAN MCCARTY says


  4. paulmbanks says

    It doesn’t look good for him thats for sure

  5. If this happened at any other school, he would be gone already. Because this is Notre Dame it will be soft covered, by the school, by the NCAA, & by the Press.

    Do you remember Mike Leech ? He put a kid that ” might ” have a concussion into a dark closet. Into a closet without water. That’s all. It was determined that he put his player in peril. He was terminated.

    He put a kid In peril, not the morgue.

    Coach Kelly must go.

  6. paulmbanks says

    you make a lot of good pts

  7. our prayers is with
    declan sullivan and his family

  8. Brandon Oller says

    Hopefully they do not let him stay this kid is to me amazing. The Sullivan family did not deserve this from him. He set out to give his all darn you Declan. Plus with a wind difference such as being describe they should look at involuntary manslaughter charges.

  9. paulmbanks says

    It’s not so much involuntary manslaughter, as it is gross criminal negligence. on Friday they owned up to fault. which we all knew, but still for them to admit it is huge. Forbes posted a piece which really had a lot of good research in it regarding precedent. I’ll post my take on it is a few….

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