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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Monday, April 18, 2011

Notre Dame's excuse: Blame it on the weatherman

Accroding to a published report, Notre Dame said Monday that the football staff responsible for advising whether it was safe to practice outside used out-of-date weather information the day a student videographer fell to his death when the hydraulic lift he was on toppled over in high winds.

Declan Sullivan, a junior film student from Long Grove, Ill., was killed when the 40-foot lift fell over in a 53 mph wind gust on Oct. 27.

The investigation found that staff members likely depended on readings from the National Weather Service provided at 1:54 p.m. that day showing 23 mph winds in the area with 29 mph gusts. Although practice didn’t start until 3:45 p.m., the staff was unaware that at 2:54 p.m. the weather service reported winds of 29 mph with 38 mph gusts.

At the time of the accident at 4:54 p.m. the weather service was reporting 33 mph winds with 51 mph gusts.

That is total irresponsibility on the ND coaching staff. Anyone with any common sense would have pulled Sullivan down from the stand when they felt how hard the wind was blowing. You don't need a weather report for that.

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