Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said the university never “threatened” linebacker Prince Shembo to be silent after an alleged sexual attack in 2010 against Lizzy Seeberg, a student at neighboring Saint Mary’s College who later committed suicide.

Shembo said at the NFL scouting combine last week that the school told him not to speak on the matter. Kelly said Friday it was a university decision to suggest Shembo remain silent about the allegations but it was Shembo’s ultimate decision not to speak publicly.

“We made a decision based upon the information we had,” Kelly said at a news conference to discuss the start of spring practice. “We felt it was in Prince’s best interest that this was not a matter that needed to be discussed. But that was certainly something he could have decided to discuss.

“We didn’t threaten him with he couldn’t play or we were going to put him on the bench or we were going to throw him out of school. It was still his decision.”

Kelly said advising Shembo to be silent was a “collaborative” decision among university officials.

Shembo never was charged with a crime, and the media did not publicize his name. He spoke about the allegations for the first time Saturday, saying he was innocent and has “nothing to hide.”

The Tribune reported in November 2010 on Seeburg’s complaint of a sexual attack, which campus authorities did not initially tell county police about, nor did campus police refer the case to the county’s special victims unit, which was established to handle sex offenses.

Seeberg, who battled depression and an anxiety disorder, received a text message Sept. 2, 2010, from one of Shembo’s friends that read: “Don’t do anything you would regret. Messing with notre dame football is a bad idea.”

She died Sept. 10 from an overdose of prescription medication.