Thursday, October 28, 2010

Notre Dame Student Dies After Fall.

Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan  tweeted about gusty winds prior to accident by Dan Parzych October 28th, 2010 One of the biggest stories in the sports world this week comes from South Bend, Indiana where a Notre Dame student died after a tower fell over on Wednesday due to strong winds. 20-year old Declan Sullivan, who worked for the school’s video department, was filming football practice for the Fighting Irish from the top of a video tower on a day in which high winds reached 51 mph. As tragic as this story is, it’s the messages posted on Sullivan’s Twitter account while he was up in the tower before the accident that makes this story even more devastating to take in. According to Ellie Hall of The Huffington Post, Sullivan posted two messages about how intense the wind was from the top of the tower. From Sullivan’s Twitter account: "Gust of wind up to 60mph well today will be fun at work... I guess I've lived long enough :-/." "Holy **** holy **** this is terrifying." This accident has struck up a new line of controversy for Notre Dame as many are criticizing the school for holding practice outside in such harsh conditions. The team held practice indoors on Tuesday after there were tornado warnings throughout the area, but head coach Brian Kelly decided to resume practice outdoors on Wednesday—despite the strong winds.
ESPN News Report
Associated Press News Story


  1. On the one hand, high wind is not a reason not to have an outdoor practice. There wasn't lightning, or a tornado warning.

    On the other hand, did nobody ever intuit that maybe they should put their videographer in a more stable structure?

    Maybe the coaches have taken too many helmet-to-helmet shots. Dweebs.

  2. What amazes me is that this is a temporary and portable "scissors" tower that was raised to 50 feet in nearly 50 mph sustained winds.

    The young man was clearly scared, but also probably dedicated to helping the team. Why no adult from the team thought about his safety is frightening.

  3. He was also probably doing a job for pay -- and perhaps paying his own way through school. As a young person, he wasn't thinking of his own mortality.

    Very sad.

  4. It's wrong that I keep thinking "He died doing something he loved," right? I say this only because my few near-death experiences have all been accompanied by a sensation of "This is the most awesome/scary thing ever and if I die now I'll be so happy."

    On the other hand, I was in a teeny prop plane that almost crashed in northern Botswana, and then in a dodgy military situation in Starvisan, when these things happened, and I was not filming a football practice.

    Is there something in the culture of college sports that encourages young people to unquestioningly take these kinds of risks (for pay or not)? I'm a moron, by all accounts this kid was not.

  5. @ BlackDog

    Yes there is such a culture of "pushing it `till it breaks" in high-school and college sports, especially football*....those scissor-lifts are creaky on a windless day; I'm guessing that thing was swaying like Bill Cosby's Buck-Buck team five second before it collapsed. Declan Sullivan died for nothing and those idiots in charge of the football program need to be shot, fired, or shot out of a cannon.

    * It's my understanding that a lot of the nasty tricks the sportswriters rant about (doping, certain tackles, other assorted BS) in pro football came from college `ball. But then I consider all college sports (outside of chess and fighting robot competitions) to be a gigantic drain on the university.

  6. If he were my kid I'd sue the shit out of the university. Not that that would bring him back... I really feel for the family.


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