LOS ANGELES — Elizabeth “Lizzy” Seeberg was a college freshman with a wide-open smile who built houses with Habitat for Humanity and hoped to become a nurse. Lizzy also suffered from depression, and 10 days after telling friends and campus cops that she’d been sexually assaulted by a University of Notre Dame football player, rape crisis volunteers who knew she had missed a counseling session found her barely breathing in her dorm room.
Not long after the semester began, on the evening of Aug. 31, Seeberg told her friends at St. Mary’s College, the all-women’s school across the road from Notre Dame, that she had been assaulted but not raped in an attack that was interrupted by a knock on a dorm-room door. That same night, she sat down and hand-wrote an account of all that had happened, and the next day made a full report to the Notre Dame cops. She also sought treatment at a hospital, where she submitted to DNA testing and accepted an offer of counseling.
The whole problem with having a team you root for, whether in sports or in politics, is that unless you are fan enough to believe that only the guys on the other side could ever do anything wrong, your own team will at some point behave in a way that does not exactly make you feel like cheering. But it’s what happens then that defines us. And if the school does have information that would exonerate the player, and thus the whole team, this would be an excellent time to produce it.