29 October 2010
We all know of the tragedy that has fallen upon the tight knit group in South Bend, Indiana and the family and friends of the Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan. We all know the terrible accident that followed after the twenty year old videographer was raised in to the air on a hydraulic lift. We all know that the winds were up to 50 or 60 miles per hour and it was very dangerous to be up on an unstable lift that is only supposed to take about 20 mph winds. We all know about the the Tweets of Sullivan in which he expressed his fear about the lift. We all know of the mass last night that had friends, family, students, and the Fighting Irish football team to honor the loss of Declan Sullivan. Something we don't know is who is responsible for allowing Sullivan to be up there, why did no one tell him to come down when he was up there, and where were the officials who should have been heeding these warnings.
This is not a time to play the blame game, but the NCAA investigation will try to pinpoint as to who is not at fault, but who is responsible for the young videographer. Sullivan was a brave kid to have even gone up in the lift with the weather that surrounded him. Filming practice is an important factor in making your team better, but it is never worth a life. Declan Sullivan was, from all accounts that I have heard, a very nice and friendly classmate, as well as teammate. I saw teammate because even though he may not have been a player he was still an important member of the team. All of the Notre Dame players were friends with him and he really felt like a part of the team, if he didn't he wouldn't have gone up on the lift.
As I said we have all seen his tweets like "Holy (blank). Holy (blank). This is terrifying!" I actually have an idea on what he was feeling. Last year I was up on a stand, it wasn't a lift but it was still roughly 20-25 feet in the air. I wasn't anywhere near to how high up he was and I was afraid when I was up on my stand. The wind wasn't strong when I was up their and it was still terrifying. The lifts are on wheels and can even sway a little while in park. If Declan Sullivan could figure out that being up on the lift was dangerous then why couldn't anyone else?
Once again this is one of the saddest stories of the college football season, along with Eric Legrand of Rutgers and his paralysis. Hopefully the Notre Dame players who will be wearing decals on their helmets to honor Sullivan this Saturday. The junior was an important member of the Fighting Irish team and he will be forever remembered by Notre Dame fans and College football fans alike.
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