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University expresses sorrow after crash

Amanda Michaels | Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A testament to the bonds of the Notre Dame community, the University was shaken by the tragedy that struck members of its own Sunday, and is extending its support to the Ebersol family in its time of grief. The charter plane carrying Notre Dame senior Charlie Ebersol, 21, his father, chairman of NBC Sports Dick Ebersol, 57, and Charlie’s brother Teddy Ebersol, 14, cra-shed on takeoff and erupted in flames at Mon-trose Regional Airport Sunday. The Ebersol name is well known on campus and in the wider Notre Dame community, and the family’s influence reaches from the wording of the new Student Union constitution to the details of the new NBC television contracts. In a statement released Monday, University President Father Edward Malloy offered his condolences to the Ebersol family on the loss of their youngest son Teddy.”The Ebersols have been longtime friends of the University and we are deeply saddened by their loss,” Malloy said. “We pray for a full recovery for Dick and Charlie Ebersol, and ask God’s grace on their family.”Father Mark Poorman, vice president for student affairs, offered similar words of prayerful thoughts and support.”As treasured members of the Notre Dame community, Charlie Ebersol and his family are in our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time,” Poorman said in a statement released Monday. “We all draw strength from our faith, and pray that God will provide healing and hope for the Ebersols.”Students, especially those closest to Charlie Ebersol, are still reeling from the shock. Clay Nuelle, an RA in Keough – where Charlie Ebersol lived for two years before moving off-campus – said the dorm is banding together for strength, but the lack of solid information has made it hard to cope.”I think, like with any kind of tragic incident, it’s been difficult, especially for the guys that know [Charlie Ebersol] really well,” Nuelle said. “They’re taking it as well as you can possibly take it, but from talking with some guys earlier, not knowing the whole situation is part of the problem. It’s just really difficult.”As a vocal and sometimes controversial figure on campus, Charlie Ebersol faced tough criticism during both of his presidential campaigns and his term at Student Union Board – criticism born from misperception, according to 2004 Notre Dame graduate Tai Romero, who worked as SUB programming director during Charlie Ebersol’s run as manager.”Charlie is probably one of the strongest people I know and he has a very strong spirit that people confuse for arrogance because they don’t know him,” Romero said. “But everyone who knows him will say that at foundation of everything he does is his family. Those family bonds are what make Charlie the person he is today.” Romero said she wished the outpouring of support for Charlie Ebersol would have come because students came to know his true character, and not because he is experiencing a time of grief. Charlie Ebersol’s closest friends and girlfriend have been keeping in constant contact with each other, so as to give the family privacy and space, added Romero. During his decade of support for Notre Dame athletics, Dick Ebersol’s presence has made as much impact on campus as his eldest son’s. “[Dick Ebersol’s] not out here for every football game, but he does come for one or two games each fall, and often has other family members with him as well. You get to know the family beyond business aspect,” Notre Dame associate athletic director for media relations John Heisler said. “It’s been a tough couple of days in our building, because that’s what makes this hard, that it’s people you know and not just names in a wire story.”There will be a mass tonight at 10 p.m. in Keough for the Ebersol family.