A day after the bombshell dropped, there is quiet.
Parents begin parking on Noll Avenue about 2:30 p.m. It’s Thursday, and it’s sunny. Some of the mothers and fathers turn off their engines. Others leave the car running.
Some begin to read; others drift off into daydreams. Some sort mail on the dashboard. It’s not much different than other days they’ve picked up their children outside Bishop Luers High School.
Only now there is a small group of reporters milling about.
It’s a day after the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese announced that a large number of inappropriate videos found on longtime football coach and athletic director Matt Lindsay’s computer led to his sudden termination.
The news ended a week of wild speculation surrounding Lindsay – much of it talked about online – and opened up a new batch of questions about the embattled coach.
Only, no one is very much in the mood to talk.
Not the diocese, not school officials, not prosecutors and certainly not the parents, most of whom either politely declined to speak to reporters, rolled up their windows when approached or just offered prayers for all those involved.
“Bishop Luers is a great school,” said one mother who did not want to give her name. “We just don’t know everything that happened yet.”
The videos found on Lindsay’s computer – that diocese officials said were “surreptitious” but contained no nudity – were discovered Sept. 12.
Lindsay was placed on administrative leave immediately and fired four days later after an investigation determined he violated school and diocesan policies. The videos were forwarded to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.
On Thursday, Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said his department was contacted by the diocese Tuesday – six days after the discovery of the videos.
So far, investigators have found no evidence a crime was committed, the sheriff said.
While Fries would characterize the images as “unusual,” he said all of them have been taken at public places such as malls, football games or swim meets – places where there is no expectation of privacy.
“Where any of us would normally be,” Fries said. “What you would normally see there, is what we have pictures of.”
Fries expects his department’s investigation to be completed at the beginning of next week. The sheriff’s department has the forensic capabilities to find things that may be hidden or have been erased, he said.
“They felt we would do a complete, accurate and thorough investigation,” Fries said when asked why his agency was chosen by the diocese as the one to approach with the videos.
An official with the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office said it is investigating but said little else.
None of the people in the videos has been identified, and what Lindsay used to take the recordings – whether his own cameras, cellphone, or school or athletic booster-bought equipment – has not been disclosed.
It’s not known why the diocese waited six days to approach police with the videos, why it chose the sheriff’s department, or whether it notified parents once Lindsay was fired.
One parent outside Luers on Thursday said the school and diocese sent out emails and warned parents of what might be coming in headlines. Another parent said she learned of Lindsay’s firing through the media.
Diocese spokesman Sean McBride sent a short email to newspapers and television stations saying the diocese has nothing more to say on Lindsay.
“But today we need to go without further comment,” McBride wrote.
It’s Thursday, a day after the bombshell, and there is quiet – and then a minor uproar.
A man tries to intimidate a television news crew on the public sidewalk. He saunters over to a car and glares at the crew. Another woman confronts a reporter about interviewing her teenage kids on camera outside the school days ago.
Eventually, a Fort Wayne police officer pulls into the lot and begins watching the goings-on. He never leaves his car.
Freshman Marisa Gamez files out of the school with the other students – all of them dressed in polo shirts and slacks – a little before 3 p.m. and hops into her mother’s car.
Gamez and her mother, Michelle Parks, are a few of the people outside the school willing to talk to reporters.
“The kids are posting a lot of stuff on Facebook,” Gamez said. “There’s a lot of talk (in school). One of our teachers explained that if there was anything illegal, he’d be in jail by now. One teacher said to respect the situation.
“But it was pretty normal,” Gamez continued, talking about the school day.
She added that Lindsay’s son, Kyle Lindsay, a teacher at the school, did not have his usual enthusiasm Thursday.
“He looked like he needed a hug,” Gamez said. “So I gave him an air hug today.”
For Gamez and Parks, it’s easier to talk about the situation because they are new to Bishop Luers. Many parents have sent multiple kids through the school, where Matt Lindsay has been a fixture for years.
Parks didn’t know who Lindsay was when she enrolled her daughter at Luers.
She said she thought the diocese and school handled the situation appropriately, and she was confident that her daughter would not be one of the students featured in the videos on Lindsay’s computer.
“I’m concerned as a parent when something like this happens, because these are people our kids look up to,” she said of Lindsay. “I’m saddened by it. There’s a lot of evil lurking out there.”
After school, football practice goes on as usual.
The game against Concordia Lutheran is coming up, and interim coach Steve Keefer is trying to keep his team on track, keep their heads off what happened to their previous coach.
“We have never talked about it,” he says of the firing. “We have talked about being positive and moving forward.”
And soon, Lindsay’s former players begin talking to the media, offering shock at what happened and hopes that most of it might turn out to be false.
“I hope all the allegations are false,” Michael V. Ledo, a 2000 Luers graduate who played for Lindsay, said in an email. “If they are not, my prayers go out to everyone involved.”
Like many, 2012 graduate James Knapke, a three-year starter at quarterback and the Summit Athletic Conference’s all-time leading passer, called Lindsay in a Facebook message a “great coach and a great friend to me over my 4 years at Bishop Luers.”
Knapke, now a quarterback at Bowling Green State University, said many would feel the same way – that like him, many would not be where they are today without a coach like Lindsay.
And then Knapke wrote something about Lindsay that many believed.
“I thought he would coach there until the day he died, he bled red and black and loved his players.”
But now he’s not, and many in the Bishop Luers community are waiting until things get back to normal.
Late Thursday, following multiple interview requests, Lindsay sent a text message to The Journal Gazette.
“Been advised to be quiet.”