Why Wasn't Notre Dame This Concerned About a Real Girl?

School's handling of sex-assault cases comes under fire

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 17, 2013 6:24 PM CST

(Newser) – Notre Dame is sticking by Manti Te'o, taking him at his word that he was a victim and not a perpetrator of the non-existent girlfriend hoax. The school promises its own investigation into this "cruel game." But where was this outrage, this determination to get to the truth, in the case of Lizzy Seeberg, wonders observers such as Amanda Marcotte at Slate, Irin Carmon at Salon, and Katie Rogers at the Guardian. Seeberg was a Notre Dame freshman who committed suicide after accusing a football player there of sexual assault. She had been warned by another player not to make trouble because "messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea," according to reporter Melinda Henneberger, who wrote about it in the Washington Post last month.

What's more, Henneberger says another girl got raped by a different player but declined to report it after receiving a "hailstorm" of threatening texts from his teammates. No player has been charged, and the school showed little interest in either case, she writes. Ditto for police and the media. "Notre Dame has already scheduled press conferences and hired an outside investigator to deal with the Te’o situation, two things that never happened for Seeberg," writes Marcotte at Slate. "Beautiful, selfless, perfect woman does not exist? Now that's a story. The horrors faced by women trying to find justice for sexual violence? Sorry, ladies, that's just boring old everyday life." Read her full post here.

People walk in front of the Notre Dame administration building, known as the Golden Dome, Thursday, in South Bend, Indiana.   (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
Notre Dame stadium.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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