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Notre Dame's Response to Lizzy Seeberg Compared to Manti Te'o

Publications across the country have scrutinized the university's immediate response to Te'o's fake girlfriend hoax compared to what many see as the slower response after Seeberg's sexual assault accusation, which led to her suicide.

The University of Notre Dame's response to the recent scandal over Manti Te'o's online dating hoax has been the subject of scrutiny as compared to the Indiana school's investigation of Elizabeth Seeberg's 2010 suicide

Seeberg, who grew up in Northbrook, killed herself 10 days after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexual assault, according to the National Catholic Reporter

New York Magazine laid out the contrast bluntly with a single headline. Notre Dame Finds Fake Dead Woman Easier to Talk About Than Real Dead Woman. A Salon headline reads: "Notre Dame’s real dead woman: Manti Te'o's soap opera moves the school's athletic director to tears, while Lizzy Seeberg's suicide is ignored"

And in USA Today, Christine Brennan writes, "The peculiar mysteries at Notre Dame are almost too numerous to detail today, but one stands out among all the rest: Why did the university show more public concern for a fake dead woman than a real one?"

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told the Huffington Post in a recent email, regarding the Seeberg investigation, "Yes, we could have acted a bit more quickly, but we believe it was better to be thorough than fast in order to avoid the rush to judgment that has taken place in other high-profile cases." 

It took Notre Dame investigators five days afer Seeberg's suicide to interview the accused football player, according to the National Catholic Reporter. He was later acquitted of all charges and remains unnamed. 

In contrast, the university's response to the ongoing saga of Te'o's fake, Internet girlfriend garnered a much faster, and more emotional response. 

Shortly after news of Te'o's controversy broke, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick held a press conference where he said “Every single thing about this was real to Manti. There was no suspicion. The grief was real, the affection was real, and that’s the sad nature of this cruel game,” The Nation reports.

The athletic director cried, announced private detectives were hired and referred to the situation as a "cruel game," according to The Nation. 

What do you think: Do the stories of Seeberg's tragedy and Te'o's hoax deserve comparison? Was Notre Dame's response in either event appropriate?

knute rocknee's ghost February 10, 2013 at 05:47 AM
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office decided not to press charges against any Notre Dame student in Lizzy Seeberg's case. A Mr. Michael Dvorak, writing on the Office's behalf, said that there were conflicts in the witness testimonials, and that subpoenaed phone records conflicted with Seeberg's complaint. Can you connect the dots too?
knute rocknee's ghost February 10, 2013 at 05:47 AM
I have a daughter and a son. In the same circumstances I would have been to see my own daughter in a heartbeat. In the same circumstances, I would also have been to see my own son in a heartbeat as well if he were likewise accused.
knute rocknee's ghost February 10, 2013 at 05:48 AM
Any of you have sons besides daughters? Ought we not be concerned with both?
knute rocknee's ghost February 10, 2013 at 05:55 AM
What I encounter here in reading comments is the the mindset of a good old fashion lynch mob.
knute rocknee's ghost February 10, 2013 at 05:59 AM
Prejudice is ugly.

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