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Shembo admits role in Lizzie Seeberg investigation, denies wrongdoing

Shembo Getty Images

In 2010, a student at St. Mary’s College claimed that she was inappropriately touched by a Notre Dame football player.  Four days later, Lizzie Seeberg committed suicide.

On Saturday, former Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo acknowledged at the Scouting Combine that he was the player Seeberg accused of impropriety.  While denying the claim, Shembo admitted that he had some sort of involvement with Seeberg.

“I’m innocent,” Shembo told Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.  “I didn’t do anything.  I’m, pretty much, I’m the one who ended it and pretty much told the girl that we should stop, that we shouldn’t be doing this and that’s what happened.  So, I don’t know.”

Shembo said he has been asked about the incident by every team that has met with him in Indianapolis.

“I was like, ‘What’s going on?'” Shembo said of his reaction to the allegation; he reportedly was interviewed for the first time about the situation 15 days after Seeberg died. “I was a freshman. I don’t think games even started, and she was older than me. . . .  I was like, ‘What?’  I was confused.  They were asking me questions, and I didn’t know what they were talking about because I didn’t do anything.”

Shembo explained that he would have commented much sooner, but that Irish coach Brian Kelly instructed Shembo not to discuss it.

“I wanted to talk about it [then],” Shembo said.  “I wanted to, but they had to keep everything confidential.  Now that I’m out [of school], I can talk about it.”

It’s hard to tell whether the decision to instruct Shembo to say nothing was aimed at protecting Shembo, Seeberg, or the football program.  It’s clear the Shembo believed his interests would have been served by addressing the situation.

“The reason I wanted to talk was just to clear up my name,” Shmebo said.  “My name was in flames, pretty much.”

And here’s one way that unionization would help a college football player.  The union would have the ability to bargain with the school for a procedure that provides the player with specific protections in situations like this — up to and including the ability to talk about something publicly that the coach is directing him not to talk about.

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5 Responses to “Shembo admits role in Lizzie Seeberg investigation, denies wrongdoing”
  1. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Feb 23, 2014 10:51 AM

    Horrible decision by Brian Kelly if he is innocent. Not talking makes you seem guilty. All Kelly cares about is his contract, like most college coaches.

  2. blabidibla says: Feb 23, 2014 12:14 PM

    Unfortunately, in an era where the media is looking for an explosive story rather than the truth and lawyers are foaming at the mouth to take on case with national recognition, no comment is typically a far safer strategy than anything – no matter if you’re innocent.

  3. hawkforlife says: Feb 23, 2014 12:22 PM

    And here’s one way that unionization would help a college football player.

    You’re kidding, right? The NFLPA does such a great job for their members.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 23, 2014 12:50 PM

    Innocent people don’t need much strategy to protect themselves, and they should respect doing the right thing to clear things up when murky situations develop. And why is Shembo talking about it now and proclaiming his innocence? He wanted to talk but didn’t and now he is talking? I don’t get it and I don’t understand what’s going on at all, except something fishy is in the air. Where is that stench actually originating from, somebody should pinpoint the source just to make sure there isn’t a bigger fish to fry out there.

  5. realfootballfan says: Feb 23, 2014 4:37 PM

    The kid dying on the bridge in bad weather while taping practice, and now this gem. That Brian Kelly is such a “great” guy.

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