I was just doing a little digging into the "accident" that cost the young man at Notre Dame his life. I thought to myself, surely there is some kind of safety guideline on such a machine, and certainly some guidelines for use by the university.
What I learned was this. At Illinois, IU, Nebraska, and Kentucky, such lifts are grounded in winds over 25 mph. At Penn State and Michigan, 28 mph. Texas Tech will allow you up 20 feet up to 40 mph, but no higher over 25 mph. North Carolina State grounds them when the wind is 50% of the machine's rating. South Florida is getting rid of them altogether, installing practice field permanent towers that can handle any reasonable wind.
The facts? In winds gusting anywhere from 31 to 51 mph, Declan Sullivan was 40 feet up. The machines rating was 28 mph.
(Notre Dame coach Brian ) Kelly said Saturday it was his decision to hold practice outdoors on a windy day when a student videographer died after the lift he was in fell over. "You have to be able to look at the weather conditions and find out whether you believe it's going to be a productive day, first. We believed it to be productive, it was productive, obviously up until the tragedy,"Kelly said, speaking to reporters after Notre Dame's 28-27 upset loss to Tulsa. "Practice must be safe," he added.
Notre Dame had systems in place for dealing with safety issues at practice but those systems failed and are being evaluated, Kelly said.
Really? What system was in place that allows a boy 40 feet up in wind gusts up to twice the machine's ratings?
Kelly said he didn't have answers as to why someone didn't tell Sullivan to get off the tower, or who was responsible for monitoring the changing conditions. "Those are all the things that we're examining right now. We could probably come up with a number of different things that we're all wondering. Those are the questions that are being asked exactly as you've asked them," he said. He also was asked if there is a maximum wind speed prescribed for using the scissor lifts. "Again, if I had the knowledge specifically of wind speed and heights of lifts, all of those, I certainly would provide those to you. I just don't have that information," he said.
Let's see, Brian. The machine's ratings I'm guessing are prominently posted on the machine, easy to read if the damn thing isn't tipped over. Why didn't you order him off the tower, Brian, you ordered the practice and were presumably in charge.
Declan's parents, Alison and Barry Sullivan, released a statement through Notre Dame saying they were grateful "for the consideration shown to us by the Notre Dame administration and everyone associated with the university" in the wake of their son's death.
I should say that administration should be kissing their asses at this point. They have the lawsuit of all time right in their laps.
Frankly, if sports wasn't the high dollar abortion that it is, the only question would be the possible recruiting violations Kelley would be getting if he was working while spending 1 to 3 for aggravated involuntary manslaughter in prison.