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Thomas Dimitroff “very comfortable” with drafting Prince Shembo

Prince Shembo AP

The Falcons drafted Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo in the fourth round on Saturday, three months after he spoke publicly for the first time about being the player accused of sexual battery in a controversial case from 2010.

A student at St. Mary’s College, the one-time “sister” school to Notre Dame in South Bend, named Lizzy Seeberg reported being touched inappropriately by a member of the Notre Dame football team in early September. Police did not interview Shembo for several weeks, but Seeberg allegedly got text messages warning her not to mess with a Notre Dame football player before killing herself on September 10, 2010.

Shembo was never charged with a crime and said he wanted to speak before the combine, but was barred from doing so by Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. Shembo said he had “remorse for the girl” after being drafted and called it an “unfortunate” but consensual event. Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said that the team felt comfortable with the investigation they did on Shembo and that they had not lowered the character bar to select him.

“We’re very, very aware of the seriousness of the incident,” Dimitroff said, via ESPN.com. “Obviously, it’s a sad situation for the young lady involved. We’ve done a lot of research at many levels from our security standpoint, from all the research that we did at Notre Dame. And he was never charged, never suspended from the team or the school. We’ve done our due diligence as far as making sure that we felt very comfortable with making that decision. Only glowing endorsements from the university. And again, pleased to have him a part of this organization going forward.”

However things work out for Shembo, one would hope that the sad story will lead authorities to do more to quickly investigate claims of sexual misconduct and help those making the accusations move forward without harming themselves or others.

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13 Responses to “Thomas Dimitroff “very comfortable” with drafting Prince Shembo”
  1. 700levelvet says: May 11, 2014 10:27 AM

    The “Haven of hypocrisy”… What does anyone expect?

  2. whatjusthapped says: May 11, 2014 10:32 AM

    This is just sad, for Dimitroff to suggest that he was never charged or never suspended from the team as some sort of rationale is an insult to our intelligence.

    Look at the FLA ST QB, he got away with rape too. Anybody who has attended these major college schools knows that these athletes are given extensive leeway in both the classroom and outside the classroom. The fact that the South Bend police department ignored the case is equally sad but Dimitroff shouldn’t show case that apathy as a reason to draft this punk.

    Karma has a way of extracting its own justice and I hope the Falcons finish in last place again.

  3. wishingtonredslur says: May 11, 2014 10:52 AM

    Kind of hard to charge to charge a guy when the plaintiff is dead and the police don’t investigate or interview. Shembo, Ray Rice, Darren Sharper, Ben Roethlisberger etc welcome to the National Freak League.

  4. joelvis72 says: May 11, 2014 11:29 AM

    They would have been better off drafting Papa Shango.

  5. rwhite84 says: May 11, 2014 11:53 AM

    I don’t believe in demonizing someone without proof, although it doesn’t sound good America arrests more people than any country in the world. There’s a chance he didn’t do it and it’s unfair to portray him as rapist without evidence.

  6. lukedunphysscienceproject says: May 11, 2014 12:58 PM

    It’s not the media’s fault that these guys wind up being “demonized” or have a shadow over their reputation. It’s the fault of the schools and local authorities who refuse to perform proper investigations.

    If he is in fact innocent, the lack of a proper investigation makes it impossible for him to completely clear his name. If they had done their job, he would be exonerated. They didn’t, so he’s not.

    Don’t blame the messenger.

  7. TheWizard says: May 11, 2014 1:21 PM

    If the guy is clean then she lied.

    If she lied, why would she kill herself over it?

  8. guardianangel82 says: May 11, 2014 1:44 PM

    I’m so proud of him for accepting responsibility. Hopefully people will accept him for how he plays the game instead of who he’s attracted to.

  9. cashcon says: May 11, 2014 2:17 PM

    You’re still innocent until proven guilty (generally) in this country.

    It isn’t Atlanta’s responsibility to clean up the PD or change the way universities treat their athletes.

    The biggest crime would be for Atlanta to hold something against a player/kid that was never proven to be true.

  10. purplengold says: May 11, 2014 4:55 PM

    Killing yourself seems somewhat self-defeating, or maybe even nuts.

  11. phillyphannnn83 says: May 12, 2014 8:54 PM

    There is however, an inherent problem that the majority of the cases where the woman is making a false claim(NOT saying that’s what happened in this case), the “victim” frequently suffers from some sort of (un)diagnosed mental disorder.

  12. phillyphannnn83 says: May 12, 2014 9:00 PM

    I should clarify. My statement meant that it may be difficult and sometimes impossible to keep some “victims” from harming themselves. And I put victim in quotes because without any evidence, they should be referred to as accusers, not victims.

  13. irishman2014 says: May 13, 2014 8:55 AM

    Tom Dimitroff did his homework on Price Shembo. Shembo is an outstanding young man and football player. He happened to have a date with a young lady not known to him that she was in a battle with depression and on a very powerful drug that required parental guidance to take if under 21. Alone away at college taking a drug without her parents around that has as a side effect suicide! Are we shocked that she unfortunately took her own life? Price Shembo was just a convenient excuse to justify it and while no one wanted to see a beautiful young life snuffed out before it really started, the effects of these dangerous drugs many mistakenly put their kids on instead of a good butt-beating when their behavior get out of line are killing our children! Want to know why a kid blows up his high school or kills his classmates or stabs his would be prom date when she refuses? The common denominator is anti-depressive drugs! They are the real culprit!

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