IOSHA Fines Notre Dame $77,000 for Declan Sullivan Negligence

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Notre Dame is slapped with $77,500 in fines following the state of Indiana’s investigation into the death of student football videographer Declan Sullivan. This morning, Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Association officials released their findings into the death of Sullivan, who died Oct. 27, 2010 after the scissor lift he was standing atop collapsed under historically high winds.

Wind gusts got up into the 5os that day, and wind advisories were all over the Midwest.

$55,000 of the total is for a “knowing violation”- directing an untrained student to use the scissor lift when the weather service had issued a warning. These are quite rare.

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Notre Dame Installs Remote Video System in Wake of Declan Sullivan Tragedy

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Construction begins March 8 in South Bend, Indiana on a remote video system for taping the Notre Dame football practice fields. This will make obsolete elevated scissor lifts such as the one that toppled in historically high winds on Oct. 27th, killing Notre Dame student videographer Declan Sullivan.

This initiative is the first positive consequence to come from the tragic loss of a kid who was needlessly taken from us way too soon.

Two investigations into the accident are still ongoing: an internal ND study, and another by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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Fan Dies from Fall at Soldier Field, Chicago Sports Autumn of Tragedy Continues

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It’s been a very tragic autumn for Chicago Sports and the people who cover them. The second city must now deal with the third highly-publicized death of an individual connected to the local sports scene.

Anita Kustok, mother CSN Chicago reporter Sarah Kustok, and former Northwestern QB Zak Kustok was murdered in late September. A couple days before Halloween, Notre Dame student videographer Declan Sullivan was killed when his hydraulic scissor-lift collapsed in historically high winds. The circumstances surrounding both of those deaths are still being investigated.

And then today, during the Chicago Bears-Philadelphia Eagles, a man in his 20s died from falling out of Soldier Field and landing on a roof-top.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame should return its focus to the Football Field

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In times of tragedy, the simplest things can offer the most help. In order to find this support, Notre Dame football and its fans should shift their attention from tragedy to tradition.

“Football-Saturday” tradition to be exact.

Notre Dame welcomes the 14th-ranked Utah Utes to South Bend this weekend.

One week ago, the Utes had National Title aspirations. Today, the team is looking to rebound after getting utterly embarrassed by Texas Christian at home 47-7.

In other words, Notre Dame might be the beneficiary of a despondent and emotionally decimated team. However, and unfortunately for Notre Dame, emotional decimation is a feeling with which the team is all too familiar.

By: Brian McCabe

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What Will Notre Dame Tragedy Cost the School? Who Will Get Fired?

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At the end of the day Friday, Notre Dame released a public statement that was both surprising and expected at the same time. When you have terrible news to disseminate to the public, you always do it at 5pm on a Friday; it’s a cardinal rule of media relations. And as expected, ND admitted fault in the tragic death of student videographer Declan Sullivan. What was somewhat unexpected though was the vote of confidence to Head Coach Brian Kelly.

On the other hand, if ND is going to let Kelly go over this, it’s more advantageous to do it after the season instead of during the midst of it.

One thing’s for sure, after the investigation completes, the school could be paying out millions of dollars in damages, and people high up within college football’s most visible program, including Kelly and perhaps even Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, could pay with their jobs.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Gives Brian Kelly Vote of Confidence

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The tragic accidental death of Long Grove, Illinois’ Declan Sullivan, a Notre Dame student videographer, brought a firestorm of publicity to the University. Amidst all the negative attention has been a call for Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly, and/or Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick to resign.

However, ND leadership publicly stated today that Kelly will not be let go any time soon.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President of the University stated this in an open letter to the ND community:

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Public Statement from Declan Sullivan’s Family

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The family of late Notre Dame videographer Declan Sullivan asked the Notre Dame football media relations department to help pass along this public statement.

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Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly Discusses Declan Sullivan Tragedy

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After today’s 28-27 home loss to Tulsa, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly talked at length for the first time about the tragic death of student videographer Declan Sullivan. Here are some of the more important and interesting excerpts of what he had to say at the postgame press conference:

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Will Notre Dame Tragedy Cost Brian Kelly his Job?

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Of the two generalized groups of people calling for Coach Brian Kelly’s dismissal at Notre Dame, I think one group has a valid case, while the other does not.

Negligence within the coaching staff chain of command precipitated the tragic death of Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan. He was needlessly put in a recklessly grave situation, and heads will roll because of it.

If you think Kelly should be held accountable for this situation, I see your point. There will be an emotional tribute to Sullivan on Saturday, but soon afterward the buck could inevitably stop with Kelly and ND Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick will eventually have to fire someone over this.

However, if you’re an Irish fan and you think Kelly should get canned because the team is 4-4, and looks unlikely to finish with a winning season, well then I must respectfully disagree.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame to Honor Fallen Student During Saturday’s Game

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University of Notre Dame leaders gathered today to express their profound sorrow and grief over the death of Declan Sullivan, a 20-year-old junior from Long Grove, Ill., who died Wednesday in an accident at a Notre Dame football practice field.

ND Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Saturday’s game against the University of Tulsa will continue as planned, in Sullivan’s memory. Players will wear decals on their helmets commemorating Sullivan; a moment of silence will precede the coin toss.

Swarbrick said Coach Brian Kelly’s primary focus at this juncture is the emotional state of members of the football program.

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Notre Dame Student Dies in Football Field Accident

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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.”

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