In the shadow of tragedy, Notre Dame does the right thing …..

November 06, 2010 |

Those who are guilty of criminal offenses don’t care about the cost or burden to the justice system. They’re just hoping to “get off” by way of a technicality or swaying a jury through lying and confusing them.

Those who are guilty of civil liability don’t care about the associated legal costs, either. They’re simply hoping to blur a situation, in hope of convincing a judging entity that NOBODY is really responsible for the alleged incident; it was just an unfortunate accident.

And, in both situations, the guilty really don’t care about the impact their contention and resistance have on the true victims and their families.

They’re just hoping to get away with it.

Or, they’re hoping to plea it down.

However, in yesterday’s statement, Reverend Jenkins pretty much guaranteed Notre Dame will have no part in adding another painful twist to the tragedy of Declan Sullivan’s death. The university will not subject his family to an excruciating civil trial. And, they will not project blame outside the campus …..

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 04: The 'Way of Life' mural, also known as 'Touchdown Jesus,' is seen on the campus of Notre Dame University before a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium on September 4, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Once again, Reverend Jenkins and Notre Dame should not be heralded for owning up to their negligence. They’ve done the right thing.

It would’ve been easy to pin the incident on the back of Brian Kelly. And, to be honest, he likely had a substantial role in it. He was in charge of everything that happened on the field that day; a responsibility he accepts each time his team practices.

But, in his defense, Coach Kelly probably has no O.S.H.A. training or technical familiarity with use/restrictions of scissor-jack lifts.

And, he has probably punished himself, several times, over the last 10 days.

To be quite honest, Reverend Jenkins showed the ultimate gesture of leadership, yesterday. And, he also displayed the humanity and compassion expected of a man in his position.

Brian Kelly is the boss on the football field. Reverend Jenkins is Brian Kelly’s boss. The buck and blame stopped with him.

I’m not Catholic, and I’m quite sure my religious convictions have nothing to do with this expressed opinion. But, in the event a reader suspects I have an underlying spiritual agenda, let me resolve it now. That’s not me.