Look, the fact that college students were cited for underage drinking shouldn't come as a big surprise. No matter which campus you find yourself on, you're bound to find many 18, 19, and 20 year-olds pounding Coors and taking a few shots of tequila. Notre Dame, despite being a good little Catholic institution, is far from the exception. Per WNDU in South Bend:
A party in South Bend was busted by police overnight, sending 43 people to the county jail.
It happened at a home on Washington Street. South Bend police were called in to respond to the initial complaints and the Indiana State Excise Police were called to the scene over underage drinking.
The excise police tell NewsCenter 16 that 43 people were arrested, and one was sent to the hospital for lacerations in his hand. It's not known at this time if all of the arrests were just for underage drinking.
Among those arrested are eight Notre Dame football players, including Nate Montana, the son of football great Joe Montana and back-up QB; Lorenzo Wood, a cornerback and incoming freshman; Chris Watt, a sophomore offensive guard; Robert Toma, an incoming freshman wide receiver; Nicholas Tausch, a sophomore kicker; Ta-iler Jones, an incoming freshman wide receiver; Steven Filer, a junior outside linebacker; and Tate Nichols, an incoming freshman.
Look, it'd be ridiculous for me or for anyone else for that matter, to start throwing these kids under the bus. It's college, college athletics, and quite frankly, this stuff happens rather frequently. These guys just happened to get caught. It's no secret that sobriety is a rarity at universities.
So what makes this story noteworthy to begin with is the recent events surrounding the death of Matt James.
As many of you know, James was a heralded offensive tackle recruit from Cincinnati, who was expected to enroll at Notre Dame and play for the Irish under new head coach Brian Kelly. Unfortunately for James and the college football community, the 6'6" lineman was spending spring break in Panama City, Florida, got drunk, and fell off a third-story balcony at a Days Inn motel - killing him instantly.
In turn, Kelly is now faced with an interesting decision. In the wake of James's death, largely due to alcohol, does Kelly now use this as an opportunity to take a stand against underage drinking on his team. It seems probable that considering what happened to James last spring, that Notre Dame may opt to take a firm stance on this. Or, they could simply sweep it under the rug. Regardless, it'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.