Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said the school never 'threatened' Prince Shembo not to talk about the Lizzy Seeberg case

Sam Cooper
February 28, 2014
Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo makes a catch as he runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo makes a catch as he runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Earlier this week, former Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo finally acknowledged that he was the player who was investigated for the alleged sexual battery against Lizzy Seeberg, a Saint Mary’s College student who later committed suicide in the weeks following the alleged incident.

At the NFL combine, Shembo told reporters that the school instructed him not to speak about the situation, but Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly refuted those statements on Friday.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Kelly said that the University suggested that Shembo remain silent about the issue, but never threatened him to do so.

“We made a decision based upon the information we had,” Kelly said. “We felt it was in Prince’s best interest that this was not a matter that needed to be discussed. But that was certainly something he could have decided to discuss. We didn’t threaten him with he couldn’t play or we were going to put him on the bench or we were going to throw him out of school. It was still his decision.”

Shembo was never charged with a crime and is now hoping to clear his name as he hopes to pursue a career in the NFL. He said that several teams have asked him about the situation and that he had “nothing to hide.”

"Yes, I wanted to talk about it, but they had to keep everything confidential," Shembo told Blue and Gold Illustrated. "Now that I'm out (of school), I can talk about it. My name was going to flames and it just made my name look bad and I can't even speak."

Kelly said Friday that the decision for Shembo not to address the matter was a “collaborative” decision between university officials.

The Tribune reported in November 2010 that Notre Dame authorities did not initially inform local police about Seeberg's report of an assault and campus police did not refer the case to the county's special victims unit. 

An investigation later took place and the county prosecutor declined to press charges in Dec. 2010. 

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