Strike One?

Eight Irish football players were among 44 people arrested at a house party in South Bend.

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Summer, students, house parties...

The three have existed in unison for decades. Most fall into the category of relatively harmless fun – a right of passage. Some, like that held on Washington Street in South Bend Friday Night, end with underage arrests, a night inside the county jail, and a pending court date.

Friday night, eight Notre Dame football players, two basketball players, and nine hockey players were among 44 people arrested at a house party at the 1000 block of East Washington Street. first reported the incident, and Excise police later told NewsCenter 16 that "44 people were arrested, 42 were charged with misdemeanor underage possession of alcohol and two were charged with supplying alcohol to a minor. Paramedics transported one individual to the hospital for lacerations to their hand after jumping out a window while trying to flee from police."

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed the matter Saturday morning.

"I am aware of the situation and am collecting more facts," Kelly told "If there is any team-related discipline to be issued it would be handled internally."

It's the second drug and alcohol-related arrest regarding an Irish football player in the last three months and third since the conclusion of the 2009 season.

In May, senior to-be Mike Ragone was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana. Ragone has since been cleared to resume practice with the team. Privacy laws preclude knowledge of any potential meeting Ragone may have had with the University's well-publicized Office of Residence Life, whose ancillary duty is adjudication of discipline concerning all Notre Dame Students.

Page 108 of du Lac, Notre Dame's Guide to Student Life, article 2a states:
"Any person under 21 years of age is underage in the State of Indiana. All students are expected to comply with Indiana law at all times. Students may be subject to disciplinary action for underage consumption, possession or transportation of alcoholic beverages."

The du Lac handbook, however, alludes to the severity of potential punishment increasing due to repeat offenses. In a meeting with two members of Residence Life last spring, a collection of daily media covering the University's sports teams was informed that a Notre Dame student is rarely suspended from the University due to a first offense concerning alcohol or drugs.

While du Lac indicates that an initial incident of intoxication is generally handled by the rector of a student's residence hall, "Second and subsequent incidents of intoxication throughout a student's academic career, as well as any violations that occur outside the student's residence hall, shall be referred to the Office of Residence Life and Housing…Repeated incidents of intoxication or a single incident of a serious nature may result in disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal from the University."

Track Record is Relevant

Accepting limited knowledge of the charges (42 were charged with minor consumption and two were charged with providing alcohol to minors), it's likely that one of two scenarios awaits the players and any other students arrested at the party:

  1. Strike No. 1 is now officially part of the student's record at the University – one accompanied by minimum disciplinary action depending on the severity of the intoxication level and subsequent behavior. Each case is handled separately and not necessarily brought forth to the University's disciplinary body.
  2. If Saturday morning's arrest was not the student's first offense pertaining to drugs or alcohol, he or she could be subject to disciplinary action from Residence Life. Disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal are listed as official options, as indicated above, in the du Lac handbook.

Though each case is handled individually, a more applicable scenario involves that of junior wide receiver Michael Floyd, who was issued a citation for underage drinking over winter break (2009-10) while at home in Minnesota.

Floyd's punishment, at least any pertaining to his status with the football team, was handled internally.

On-field Impact?

The following Irish football players were arrested along with 36 other individuals at a Washington Street party in South Bend early Saturday morning:

  • Nate Montana: The junior ranks as the squad's backup to quarterback Dayne Crist entering August camp. The team's only remaining competitors behind Crist and Montana are true freshmen Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, and Luke Massa.

  • Tai-ler Jones: The freshman enrolled at the University in January of 2010 and became Notre Dame's most pleasant surprise of the spring session, working his way into a starting role at the conclusion of the Blue Gold Game (Kelly did not release an official depth chart, but did note Jones as a "starter" had the season started in April.

  • Steve Filer: Filer is slated to backup senior outside linebacker Brian Smith, though both Smith and Filer, as well as junior Darius Fleming and senior Kerry Neal are expected to see ample playing time in a four-man, two-position outside linebacker rotation.

  • Nicholas Tausch: Set a school-record last season by drilling 14 consecutive field goals as a true freshman. Tausch was noted to have a leg up on both Brandon Walker and David Ruffer in a three-man kicking competition last April.

  • Lo Wood: Wood joined Jones and three other incoming freshman as early enrollees. He is one of only five scholarship cornerbacks on the Irish roster and presumably ranks behind red-shirt freshman E.J. Banks for the fourth cornerback spot (which equals a place on the game day two-deep depth chart. Banks, like Wood, has never played a college down. (Wood's position mate and fellow January enrollee Spencer Body has since transferred to South Florida).

  • Roby Toma: One of nine spring competitors in a deep but unproven wide receiver unit, Toma burned his freshman year of eligibility following the midway point of the 2009 season. He concluded the spring battling for a backup role in Kelly's 3-wide receiver offense.

  • Chris Watt: Watt, along with fellow 2009 freshmen offensive linemen Alex Bullard and Zack Martin, was withheld from action last season by former head coach Charlie Weis. Martin enters August as the team's lead competitor at left tackle while Watt – who spent last season and the bulk of the winter semester at guard – auditioned at the unsettled center position in the latter portion of the spring session.

  • Tate Nichols: The incoming freshman offensive tackle will likely redshirt in 2010 with six veteran tackles ahead of him.

  • Two basketball players were also arrested: senior forward Tim Abromaitis and incoming freshman point guard Eric Atkins as were nine hockey players: Jared Beers, Jeff Costello, David Gerths, Joe Lavin, Anders Lee, Joe Rogers, Steven Summerhays, Shayne Taker and Mike Voran.

According to, "All those arrested were held overnight in the St. Joseph County jail until they were allowed to post their $150 bond Saturday morning. Excise police say ten of those arrested had a blood alcohol level above .10. The remaining 34 arrested party-goers had a BAC between .02 and .099."

The arrests reportedly included more than two dozen Notre Dame athletes, including members of the school's cross country, fencing, rowing, swimming, and track and field teams.

Privacy laws preclude Notre Dame's Office of Residence Life from disclosing the details of any case brought before them.

In the dangerous game of assumption, it should be noted that a preponderance of incoming freshmen and sophomores-to-be comprise the list of football players taken into custody. Those six have accrued minimal time at the University, rendering a previous offense less likely (only Filer and Montana have been enrolled for more than one school year).

A court date has been set for July 30 for the arrested parties.

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