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Thread: Some questions on this ND tragedy

  1. #16
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    If a 20 year old kid busts his butt and stays quiet doing his job, maybe he'll get a letter of recommendation from Brian Kelly to be a video coordinator at another school after graduation. Recognition from somebody with clout for doing a crappy job well can jump start a career. If he pipes up, there's probably 300 other kids at Notre Dame willing to hang out with the football team and watch practice every day.

    Look at it this way, despite the academic reputation of Notre Dame, this may have been his best shot for a foothold to a career. Most of us out there would put up with additional risk to keep that opportunity alive.

    I'm guessing there were other pressures to do a job, and do it well despite the risks beyond someone of authority saying so.
    But if I'm understanding you correctly, this implies that doing a good job and raising a safety concern are mutually exclusive towards getting a recommendation. I recognize the pressures that exist toward impressing the coach and getting a bump, but I also don't think it's fair to suggest he can't do a good job without keeping quiet in a situation like this. Most coaches appreciate the hard work and dedication of these kids' time, and while there are some real jerks (read expletives) out there, most are not so narrow-minded that they would purposely risk a kid's life if it were called to their attention that were the case.

    I don't think the Notre Dame coaches put him up there, purposely, with utter disregard for his safety. I think they didn't thoroughly think through the fact he was going up there in horrid conditions. Because of the repetition involved with regard to practice, Sullivan was probably going about his business without much consultation to Kelly. Had he gone to Kelly and even expressed concern, do we think they would have made the kid go up there anyhow?

    I'd like to think not. Of course, maybe I am hoping for the best.
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  3. #17
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    I don't know if you had a chance to see the Twitter messages he left to his account about an hour prior to his death, but apparently he fully knew the risks.

    Here is a picture of his Facebook page, which contain two Twitter messages from his account that synced over...

    (warning, these are chilling)

    http://www.indyposted.com/121057/dec...eclan-sulivan/

    Even the message before he got up there, he obviously new the risks he was facing. In this case, I don't think, even being 20, he was ignorant of the dangers.
    Yes, I had already seen the twitter messages he'd left. He obviously knew there was risk involved, but we can't be certain he took it as seriously as he could have despite what he said on twitter. He apparently felt it was more important to do his job, rather than go to a superior and tell them he didn't feel safe. This is the kind of thing I was referring to when I said 20-year olds don't use the best judgement. This kid never should have been put in the position to have to make that kind of decision.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    But if I'm understanding you correctly, this implies that doing a good job and raising a safety concern are mutually exclusive towards getting a recommendation. I recognize the pressures that exist toward impressing the coach and getting a bump, but I also don't think it's fair to suggest he can't do a good job without keeping quiet in a situation like this. Most coaches appreciate the hard work and dedication of these kids' time, and while there are some real jerks (read expletives) out there, most are not so narrow-minded that they would purposely risk a kid's life if it were called to their attention that were the case.

    I don't think the Notre Dame coaches put him up there, purposely, with utter disregard for his safety. I think they didn't thoroughly think through the fact he was going up there in horrid conditions. Because of the repetition involved with regard to practice, Sullivan was probably going about his business without much consultation to Kelly. Had he gone to Kelly and even expressed concern, do we think they would have made the kid go up there anyhow?

    I'd like to think not. Of course, maybe I am hoping for the best.
    Brian Kelly runs a 2-hour practice that is choreographed to the second. It's precise by military standards. It's also intense, chaotic and loud. Kelly also has quite the reputation for a temper when others interfere with his practices. Knowing this, would you, as a 20-year old kid whose job it is to videotape everyone interrupt practice? I sure as hell wouldn't have had the gumption to do so.

    Now, I do think that had he expressed concern and survived Kelly's momentary rage, cooler heads would have prevailed and the risky situation would have been seen for what it was. As it is, I agree with you: nobody of importance gave it much thought.

    It seems this tragedy has similarities to most plane crashes. Many small things went wrong and accumulated to disaster. By themselves, none of the contributing factors would have caused this kid's death.
    Last edited by paintmered; 10-28-2010 at 08:32 PM.
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    I don't think it's the kid's responsibility to know how much wind that tower could handle. Notre Dame is responsible IMO and they will pay up eventually. Whether it's Brian Kelly's fault or someone else at ND remains to be seen. My bet is we'll hear that ND settled quietly with the boy's family and we won't hear much more

  6. #20
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    Brian Kelly runs a 2-hour practice that is choreographed to the second. It's precise by military standards. It's also intense, chaotic and loud. Kelly also has quite the reputation for a temper when others interfere with his practices. Knowing this, would you, as a 20-year old kid whose job it is to videotape everyone interrupt practice? I sure as hell wouldn't have had the gumption to do so.

    Now, I do think that had he expressed concern and survived Kelly's momentary rage, cooler heads would have prevailed and the risky situation would have been seen for what it was. As it is, I agree with you: nobody of importance gave it much thought.
    He didn't have to interrupt practice. He knew before he ever got up there that it was unsafe. He could have gone to Kelly prior to practice starting. But even if he didn't, he was up there an hour and based on his second Twitter message, he clearly was terrified by what was happening up there. I think at that point you gotta be smart enough to get down and get yourself out of harm's way. I'm sorry... I will do a lot of things to a meaningful job, but if I feel my life is at risk, I got to know when to say when.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    He didn't have to interrupt practice. He knew before he ever got up there that it was unsafe. He could have gone to Kelly prior to practice starting. But even if he didn't, he was up there an hour and based on his second Twitter message, he clearly was terrified by what was happening up there. I think at that point you gotta be smart enough to get down and get yourself out of harm's way. I'm sorry... I will do a lot of things to a meaningful job, but if I feel my life is at risk, I got to know when to say when.
    You assume Kelly was accessible before practice. Coaching staffs employ grad assistants and a slew of other personnel to prepare the practice field so they can do other things. My guess is Kelly, like every other coach out there, arrives to the field a mere minute before the first whistle blows.

    The kid might have had an open door to the video coordinator at ND. It's doubtful he had Kelly's ear given his place on the football staff totem pole.

    Does the CEO of a company show up twenty minutes early to his meeting to interact with the co-op?
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  8. #22
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    You assume Kelly was accessible before practice. Coaching staffs employ grad assistants and a slew of other personnel to prepare the practice field so they can do other things. My guess is Kelly, like every other coach out there, arrives to the field a mere minute before the first whistle blows.

    The kid might have had an open door to the video coordinator at ND. It's doubtful he had Kelly's ear given his place on the football staff totem pole.

    Does the CEO of a company show up twenty minutes early to his meeting to interact with the co-op?
    I'm not familiar with how Kelly runs his practices specifically, but I'm very familiar with some other major programs in both basketball and football. And in my experiences with them, it's very structured and you would know right where they're going to be if you need to get in touch with them about something. As a matter of practice, he wouldn't normally go to Kelly... as he wouldn't have any reason to. But let's not pretend they wouldn't be able to find the head coach of the program if he was needed in a pinch. Because that's really not likely.
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  9. #23
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    My question is, why does this even need to happen this way? This isn't 1970. We can operate cameras posted high up from the ground and have been able to for a while now.

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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    I am completely stunned by Swarbirck's (sp?) comments yesterday. Namely, that conditions were "unremarkable" prior to the wind suddenly picking up, causing the accident. Anybody in the area knows that the 50-60 mph winds were constant throughout those two days. Moreover, the victim's own words clearly indicate that these conditions existed in SB, and that roughly 30 mins prior to the accident he was "terrified."

    Secondly, this response:
    "It's not one decision. There are multiple decisions made," he said. "It's not a decision to go outside. It's a host of decisions relevant to ‘Do you go outside?
    A predictable and perfectly plausible answer, yes. For me though, I can't help but infer. It blames "multiple decisions" rather than implicating any specific decision-maker or even the football program as a whole. While I suppose I shouldn't expect the AD to throw his employees under the bus (especially this early in the investigation), to me this response is highly defensive and smacks of damage-control.

  11. #25
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    A 20 yr. old young man is going to have a hard time standing up to these kinds of pressures. Should have known better? Sure, but I've got a 22 yr. old and a 20 yr. old and I can completely tell you that decision making is the last thing for them to develop.

    They can write a brilliant essay, solve a difficult calculus problem, or create a wonderful pice of art. But when it comes to making consistently good, principled, and well-thought out decisions, that doesn't always happen. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times to them, "what in the world were you thinking?".

    The coaches should have this kind of decision making capability and they should have been the one to make the call "don't go up there, kid". Its 1000% on their heads.
    My thoughts on this are mixed on this tragedy. First of all I want to note that I am 28 years old. I have done things in my recent past that I would not do now. You do mature with age and life experience I am not doubting that one bit. But at the same time the kid involved was legally an adult. He is of the age to fight in a war and make split second life or death decisions. On the most basic level he bears some responsibility for climbing up that ladder with those high winds.

    That said ND is at fault as well. They allowed him, maybe even subconsciously demanded that he climb up that lift. The coaches, mostly Brian Kelly, should have sensed danger in that situation and never sent the kid up the lift. However I don't feel that they coaching staff should have known that that lift was suitable for 30 MPH winds max. In a wind storm the difference between 30MPH and 50MPH is just a gust of wind. They should have realized that the kid in all likelihood isn't going to ruffle any feathers for fear of losing his job. I can imagine that having that job would be a pretty important thing to the kid.

    So basically I am going round and round in my personal debate on this topic. I have a feeling that ND, Kelly, and the coaching staff will be sued on this matter. Hopefully as tragic as this loss was end the end it saves more lives in the future.

  12. #26
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    I was 20 once, I was invincible, I climbed cranes, dangled off ledges 2 stories high, climbed roofs recklessly, tempted huge waves on the rocks, drove 100 miles an hour regularly.

    I was invincible.

    I wouldn't do any of that stuff today.

  13. #27
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    I think about some of the stunts I pulled from 16-21 and am just thankful I survived.

    I think Darwinism could do in most kids in that age range for one reason or another, luckily most of us skate by.

    The adults should have known better. That kid was living his dream and I can just see him causing a ruckus for Brian Kelly who we know runs his practices like some sort of military exercise.
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  14. #28
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    That said ND is at fault as well. They allowed him, maybe even subconsciously demanded that he climb up that lift. The coaches, mostly Brian Kelly, should have sensed danger in that situation and never sent the kid up the lift. However I don't feel that they coaching staff should have known that that lift was suitable for 30 MPH winds max. In a wind storm the difference between 30MPH and 50MPH is just a gust of wind. They should have realized that the kid in all likelihood isn't going to ruffle any feathers for fear of losing his job. I can imagine that having that job would be a pretty important thing to the kid.
    Whomever made the decision to purchase that tower should have been aware that the tower could collapse in winds over 25mph. Maybe there was a label with a warning on the tower. Even if there wasn't, Someone in authority should have known better and told that student not to go up there for that practice. Maybe it should have been Kelly or the video coordinator or an assistant AD but someone had to have known being in that tower wasn't safe in those winds. Now maybe it slipped their minds. I can see that. It happens. They have a practice and game to prepare for and perhaps the last thing on their minds was whether that tower would collapse. But, I don't believe that is an excuse. I would guess someone is going to get sued. I don't know who is liable but someone's going to pay.
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Jason Whitlock calls for Kelly's dismissal and includes an interesting Tressel quote from before the accident:

    The head football coach has final say over everything that transpires on the practice field. Everything. That’s why Ohio State’s Jim Tressel moved the Buckeyes’ practice inside on Tuesday when wind gusts made conditions unsafe.

    “I don’t know if we’ll be inside or out,” Tressel told Ohio reporters 24 hours before the Notre Dame tragedy. “It looks a little nasty. I worry about our cameramen, their well-being up there 50 feet in the air.”
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  16. #30
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Some questions on this ND tragedy

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    Let me make a big old preface to my post that what happened in South Bend yesterday was awful. And if the report is true that this hydraulic lift was built to withstand only up to 25 MPH winds, Notre Dame will have some explaining to do. Clearly, it looks like Notre Dame made a poor judgement to allow anyone to go up in that thing with those winds, and in this case, the repercussions may be warranted.

    But as many here have seen in the past, I'm not big on the blame game. It seems as a society, we're too quick to look for someone to blame. Someone to be accountable. In this case, I'm not going to let the program off the hook completely because it totally defies common sense to have anyone go 50 feet in the air on one of those things in 50 MPH winds.

    I do, though, have to ask... at what point do we also take individual responsibility into equation?

    This kid clearly knew he was going into a bad, bad situation. I have no doubt that it's pretty tough for any 20 year old, who's undoubtedly living out a dream job, to stand up to a coach and say they won't do that kind of a job. But as these chilling tweets from his account indicated a mere hour before his death, he knew he was getting into a real bad situation.

    I am not at all blaming him for this... but when do we as a culture start asking why it's not our own personal responsibility to raise self-awareness of safety issues with our employers even at the risk of being too macho or simply coming off as a wimp? I'm troubled that the kid didn't at least raise the issue with the Notre Dame staff knowing full well the situation he was getting into. If he raises the concerns and Notre Dame sends him into the situation anyhow, that is absolutely completely on them. I know what it's like to be that age and have a job that one wouldn't want to question anything you're told for fear of losing the job. But I also know a lot of kids do possess the common sense to make some rational decisions, and if they don't, it's a choice.

    What happened in South Bend was a real, real tragedy. One that could have been avoided with any common sense by school officials. And that's a real shame that these adults didn't exercise any. But it's also disappointing that this kid did apparently have the common sense to know how dangerous a situation he was in, even before he got into it, and didn't speak up.

    How do we delegate complete blame on others when we're not standing up to protect ourselves? That's been bugging me about this.

    If we don't think the leader should take responsibility or think things through, why is he out there? Why do we need a football coach? Just let the footbal program run itself, because we all should take personal responsibility for our actions.

    What I see in your argument is the blame game that we have been seeing lately, which is it's the victim's fault.

    Here's what I ask of you: If it is so obvious that this employee should have known not to go up there, don't you think that it should have been equally as obvious to the employer? Why should the employee be put in a situation to speak up for himself?

    As an employer I don't ask my employees to do things that could put their lives in peril. And if my 20 year old employee should know better, I should know better than to ask him to do something. I'm the leader. I'm 42 years old.

    I would be personally and professionally embarrassed and ashamed if this happened under my watch, and I can't imagine sharing the blame with anybody else but me.

    I understand that you are saying they both are to blame here, but seriously a 50 year old man shouldn't be saying, "I told him to go up there, but this 20 year old student should have known better."

    The argument you seem to be making is that this was so obvious that only the 20 year old should have seen it.

    But you know, there are football games to be won here, which is always going to trump every single thing in life.
    Last edited by Dom Heffner; 10-30-2010 at 09:11 AM.
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