Prosecutor reviewing Notre Dame assault claim

Published Nov. 21, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

An Indiana prosecutor said Monday that he is reviewing a case involving a student who reportedly accused a Notre Dame football player of sexual battery.

Michael A. Dvorak, the prosecuting attorney for St. Joseph County, said that his office has received a completed report from Notre Dame campus police regarding the alleged Aug. 31 assault of Elizabeth Seeberg and will decide whether further action is warranted.

''I wish to emphasize that cases involving such allegations are complex and it would be inappropriate to rush to conclusions, rather than allowing the thorough review by prosecutors to occur in this matter,'' Dvorak said.

Seeberg identified her alleged assailant as a Notre Dame football player, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday, citing an unidentified source. The school, team, Seeberg's family in Northbrook, Ill., and authorities refused to discuss details of the case Monday.

Seeberg was a student at St. Mary's College, near Notre Dame. She died on Sept. 10 of a suspected drug overdose, according to the Tribune, citing the sheriff's office.

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said the school has a longstanding process in place to determine if policies or laws have been broken by its students. And in accordance with university policies and federal student privacy laws, he said the university is restricted from discussing specific cases.

Coach Brian Kelly was peppered with questions about the case during his Sunday conference call with reporters.


''I'm not going to get into the specifics. I can tell you this, from my standpoint as the head football coach I think it was made clear that the university is going to deal with any matters of this nature,'' he said. ''And that, for me, one of the reasons why I came to Notre Dame is that I have the same standards that our university does. We are in lockstep relative to the standards that we hold here at the University of Notre Dame.''

He also said ''I can tell you emphatically that I want the right kind of guys and those values are important to me.''

''They've been the cornerstone of everything I've done in my football program and I will continue to do that at the University of Notre Dame,'' he said.

It's already a difficult first season for Kelly -- both on and off the field. The Irish have a 6-5 record and are still reeling after the death a month ago of student videographer Declan Sullivan, who was killed when the tower from which he was filming practice fell over on a very windy day.

The state and the university are investigating Sullivan's death.