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

November 06, 2010 |

In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed hundreds of legal situations involving blatantly guilty parties. They were 100% responsible for something wrong. Yet, they employed every legal loophole and challenge to avoid accepting sanctions for it.

In yesterday’s email, Reverend Jenkins all but guaranteed the details of Declan Sullivan’s death will not be sensationalized in a courthouse. I think he accepted blame in an effort to spare Declan’s family any further grief.

I think he also wanted to embrace integrity and accountability, while maybe sending an indirect message of example to every single student on the Notre Dame campus …..

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 30: Fans in the student section of Notre Dame Stadium participate in a moment of silence for Declan Sullivan, a student who was killed this past week videotaping a football practice in high winds, before a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on October 30, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The man, as I’ve stated a few times, did the right thing.

I’m absolutely certain a few ignorant souls will say “Notre Dame is just trying to reach a quiet, out of court settlement.” Really? While, such settlements happen every day, they’re not fronted by public acknowledgements of negligence.

Reverend Jenkins’ actions are not tied to an underlying financial interest or resolution. Such a suggestion, which is already circulating, undermines a humble gesture. And, quite frankly, it insults Declan Sullivan’s family. Money will never, EVER ease their grief.

This is quite simply a horrific, public tragedy. A young man’s death could’ve been prevented, but it wasn’t. And, those who could’ve prevented it are admitting their negligence.

In taking a final look at Reverend Jenkins email, I’m left with a vivid impression …..

His acknowledgemant and actions don’t deserve accolades. But, he sure does send a very positive message, amid some very sad times.