June 30, 2009

Would LSU (or any other big time program) have tossed Joseph Fauria??

Lots of rumors out there on this Joseph Fauria transfer, but what would this site be without rumors, innuendo, over-generalizations, stereotypes, and sweeping conclusions based on nothing more than a little hearsay! That's the foundation for this site. If this site had existed when Paul Hornung said that "Notre Dame doesn't recruit the black athlete" line, I think I would have spent the next month breaking that down. So these Fauria rumors seem to be right in our wheelhouse.

Anyway, the word on the street is that Fauria got tossed from ND for getting a little too carried away during a Zahm Hall bun run. I'm guessing that he may have flashed his business at another student who didn't care for that type of behavior and reported it to Res Life. Yada, yada, yada, and now he's gone from ND for the football season and has decided to transfer.

Here's my question for our readers. If this type of incident had occurred at a football factor like LSU or Ohio State or Auburn, would Fauria have been thrown out of school??

I think the answer is pretty obvious here. NO!! Are you kidding me?? Not only would Fauria not have been thrown out of school, the girl who reported him probably would have been expelled for even trying to get him in trouble!! Something along the lines of "conduct unbecoming of an LSU football fan." You don't just throw an LSU football player under the bus without suffering the consequences!

In all seriousness, I have no doubt that this type of incident would have merited nothing more than a slap on the wrist at almost any other big time football school. There is a guy currently on the Ohio State roster who has a FELONY DRUG POSSESSION case pending, and I don't even think he's going to get suspended. Fauria didn't even get arrested. No academic issues either. For a bun run, he got tossed from school. He wouldn't have even missed a down of playing time at any other big time football school. It would have been swept under the rug like it never even happened.

Is this what our fanbase wants?? Do we want our athletes constantly getting tripped up by these administrators in the Dome?? Do we want the Res Life types handing out suspensions left and right for offenses that would be considered minor infractions at any other school??

This type of stuff is one of the reasons why I firmly believe that the problems with Notre Dame football go much higher than the head coach position. It's hard for me to get all bent out of shape about Charlie Weis when the school practically goes out of its way to hold the program back. At every other school, the focus is on FOOTBALL. Recruits go to LSU or Bama or Florida to play football, work out, watch film, and win games. The administration isn't going to get in your way as long as you win games and players aren't out there doing lines of coke on the field and beating up their women after the game.

At ND, the focus seems to be on everything other than football. In loco parentis. ND is breathing down the necks of our athletes, and they have proven time and time again that they will hammer them for every little thing that goes wrong. Why can't the football coaches handle these issues internally?? Why does everything have to be sent up to the adminstrative types that can't wait to come down hard on an athlete?? Couldn't Charlie Weis have made Fauria do some running or miss a couple games as a punishment?? Why does this type of infraction have to lead to him getting thrown out of school??

We've now had two tight ends (Fauria and Yeatman) kicked off the team and out of school for relatively minor infractions. And both these guys may have contributed to the team this year. As we have seen in Weis' four years at ND, he likes to use the tight end in his offense. He goes two tight ends quite a bit, and now we're basically down to two scholarship tight ends on the roster. If someone gets hurt or Ragone doesn't hold up, Weis can't use that type of formation for his offense this year. That would be extremely unfortunate and unfair to Coach Weis. And it's not like he didn't recruit enough TEs. Based on what he has recruited to campus, we shouldn't even have to worry about having enough tight ends on the roster.

This kind of stuff is just really annoying to me. We've got a head coach with his job on the line who is scraping and clawing just to keep his head above water, and the administration is tossing his players off the team for a freaking bun run. Is there any doubt that this stuff is holding back the program?? And I'm guessing it's just the tip of the iceberg. I'd be willing to bet that there are administrators who are constantly on Weis' back about every little thing that has nothing to do with football. When was the last time you ever heard about any other school tossing a player for something as dumb as what Fauria supposedly did?? Imagine if Nick Saban had to deal with players getting thrown out at Alabama for bun runs. What if he had to take his players to mass two hours before the game and if he had "academic advisors" breathing down his neck at every other turn?? Wouldn't that negatively affect their program?? Why couldn't the same be said about the ND program?? If the other big time programs aren't doing this stuff, why are we??

I don't necessarily think Weis is the second coming of Ara Parseghian or Lou Holtz, but these types of incidents make me wonder if any coach could turn ND into an elite program again working under the parameters of the current administration. Are we a big time football program or are we going the academic route and joining the Ivy League?? If we're going to try to be a big time football program, we need to let the football program breathe a little bit.


Mike said...

Great points Doug.

As I've asserted many times, the fish rots from the head. Until the last vestiges of the milquetoast, petty, clueless Monk Malloy devotees are purged from the ranks of the administration, football success will be unreachable at ND.

Most of the key administrators and trustees are simply worried about advancing Notre Dame's status as an academic institution, irrespective of whether the school's essential character is preserved in the process. As such, these imbiciles are oblivious to the abuses of power that have occurred within ResLife for years. It goes without saying that a Catholic school, while being strict, should not provide second (and even third, perhaps) chances for poor judgment by people in their late teens and early twenties.

From a football perspective, this further enhances the notion that ND has an undesirable social life. In turn, this may have a deleterious effect on recruiting.

Finally, those who overlook this tyrannical behavior by ResLife also tend to stick their noses into the football program (and specifically, the hiring process). That should be remembered when it's time to replace Weis.

Anonymous said...

1. He wasn't kicked out of school. He was suspended for a semester and then he CHOSE to leave permanently. This may seem like semantics, but it's important to note that he left of his own choice.

2. What does the *lack* of rules and perspective at SEC schools have to do with us? Is that what we aspire to be? Ohio State has a kid with a felony so we can let our guys break rules too? Come on. We're better than that.

3. At the end of the day - none of us know what really happened. It's impossible to comment on whether ResLife over-reacted or not without knowing the facts.

If you give me the choice between being "too strict" and graduating our players v. running a prison pipeline program like Florida or USC - I'll take the former every time.

BHRoots said...

Regarding #2...I aspire to be a superior football program. All of the SEC teams seem to have that, and we don't. I'm not saying we have to go that far, but booting a kid for a semester for a bun run is insane.

Regarding your last comment...Those are not the only two options. You can use common sense. Suspend a kid for a half...make him do community service. Booting a kid for a semester when we all know at ND its going to make the headlines. That doesn't go away for that player. He has to explain that in a job interview at some point down the road. Why do we go out of our way to have higher standards for our athletes than we do for the rest of the student body? How many other Zahmbies got booter for a semester for a bun run?