Notre Dame Is All Class Baby

September 19, 2007 – 6:43 am by Ryan Phillips

So this whole Demetrius Jones transferring to Northern Illinois thing has been well documented, as has his anger towards the way he was treated by Charlie Weis. Well now the manatee-like Irish coach may have gotten his revenge for the way Jones handled his transfer.

Notre Dame’s athletics director Kevin White announced that they will not release Jones from his scholarship. What does that mean? It means that since Jones is already enrolled at Northern Illinois, he will be forced to pay his way for this school year if he wants to be eligible next season. If Notre Dame released him, his education would be paid for by NIU as a scholarship athlete, now Jones will have to pay roughly (according to the school’s Web site) $14,530 for tuition and room and board. White gave the reason for this decision, “We don’t believe Demetrius’ departure was handled properly.” Well I’m sold, screw the kid. Weis misled him, then said Jones was never intended to be the starter anyway, basically alienating him, but yeah he totally should have felt comfortable going to Weis and telling him he was leaving. Yeah, screw him.

White claimed that it was an institutional decision that had nothing to do with Weis and the coaches. Right, I’m sure Charlie had nothing to do with it. And even if he didn’t wouldn’t it have been smarter to tell White to release Jones just so the Irish would be seen as taking the high road? But no, it would be far too classy a move to just let the kid go. Instead we’re going to ruin his life for a year to prove a point to everyone. This is obviously a combination of getting back at Jones for his statements about the current situation at Notre Dame and a way of sending a message to the current players that if they want to leave, they better be prepared to go through hell.

What happened to the days when Notre Dame seemed to be above all the petty politics that often surface in college football? In the face of all the recent criticism of how Weis is running his program wouldn’t it be a good idea to just let this one go and look like the good guys? If you truly think what Jones did was reprehensible, then why do something equally as classless back to him? Take the high road, say good riddance and move on. I respect the history at a place like Notre Dame, even if I don’t like the attitude of certain fans/players/coaches currently associated with the program. This kind of thing just cheapens that tradition for me. Act like the classy institution you claim to be and let the kid go.

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  1. 47 Responses to “Notre Dame Is All Class Baby”

  2. Yo dumbass – the article you cite says that NIU was ALREADY maxed out on scholarships and so Jones COULD NOT have been offered one anyway. This was a purely symbolic move and makes no difference to NIU or to Jones’s finances. Get your facts straight before you go on a rant … sheesh.

    By John on Sep 19, 2007

  3. If the above is true about NIU being out of scholarships whens the retraction of this post coming?

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  4. This blog is shit.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  5. Apparently the lack of class extends to Notre Dame’s fans

    By John Galt on Sep 19, 2007

  6. “They can’t keep him from going to school here. He has to sit out a calendar year,” NIU Coach Joe Novak said. All a release does is it gives us an opportunity to give the youngster a scholarship right away. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have scholarship to give him right now anyway.”

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  7. What does NIU’s scholarship situation have to do with ND’s classlessnes in this situation? As John wrote, “This was a purely symbolic move and makes no difference to NIU or to Jones’s finances.” The factual error of who’s paying for Jones at NIU still doesn’t change the fact that ND is screwing him over.

    By Ron on Sep 19, 2007

  8. The factual error of who’s paying for Jones at NIU still doesn’t change the fact that ND is screwing him over.

    What the heck does this mean? Notre Dame ISN’T “screwing him over”, since the decision not to release him from his scholarship makes NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL to Demetrius Jones’s life (or that of NIU football). The kid was going to have to pay his own way this year at NIU regardless of whether ND released him from his scholarship. So how in the world does not releasing him amount to screwing him over?

    By John on Sep 19, 2007

  9. ND douches are everywhere…

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  10. This blog post was spot on- The only thing funnier than watching the ND coach scramble to explain away his complete failure is watching ND fans work themselves into a lather, knowing that their beloved University has no more claim to the moral high ground than Miami’s (less, if you realize that Miami actually held the Coach responsible for HIS failures.

    By pdt on Sep 19, 2007

  11. Regardless of the whether Jones would have to pay his own way at NIU with or without ND releasing him from his scholarship, it’s a ridiculous (i.e. stupid) move by Notre Dame. Forget about the message you send your current players. What about the message it sends recruits? If I’m a blue chip prospect on the fence between Notre Dame and another “premier” program, things like this shouldn’t factor into my decision?

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  12. Congrats ND! This will do wonders for your recruiting.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  13. I’m a Notre Dame fan and think it is stupid to not issue a reason for the release beyond he handled it poorly. However, it’s AD Kevin White’s decision not Coach Weis’ Regardless, it doesn’t matter since he’s paying for NIU anyway.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  14. As a symbolic gesture, it may have been unwise not to release Jones, though the message it sends – if you make a show of being at practice and signing up for the team bus even though you’re already enrolled at another school and then don’t show up on gameday without telling the coaches or AD – hardly seems over the top to me. My only objection was to saying that the decision means that Jones “will be forced to pay his way for this school year.” It demonstrably DOESN’T do that, so I fail to see how ND’s decision could count as “equally as (sic) classless” as what Jones did.

    By John on Sep 19, 2007

  15. Sorry – the “message” I was suggesting the decision sent should have ended with “then we won’t be very happy”, or something like that.

    By John on Sep 19, 2007

  16. Jones showed class by admitting he could have done it differently. At the same time, ND shows what they’re all about. Who are the adults here?

    From Chicago Sun-Times:
    “Jones has intimated that Notre Dame coaches knew he was leaving before he didn’t show up for the team bus to Michigan on Friday, and when (Notre Dame) running back James Aldridge was asked about it Tuesday, he said, ”The coaches, they knew.”

    By NIUHuskie on Sep 19, 2007

  17. What about current ND walk ons that can’t use this scholarship? It would be best if one of them got it.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  18. Kinda makes you miss Ty – huh…

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  19. It’s not exactly ruining the kids life . . . they’re making him pay for college, just like the rest of us. I guess I should apologize for not feeling sorry for “student”-athletes coddled from middle school, but it’s time Jones and others of his ilk realize that schools aren’t always going to bend to your every whim anymore.

    By Brian on Sep 19, 2007

  20. Good catch Huskie, I read that article as well.

    The real point here is the recruiting issue. Does anyone remember how Charlie Weis was hyped as a college coach with pro experience, a trait that ESPN used to tout as the reason he was sure to get all the best recruits. What does this do to that image? If Weis wants to say “I know what it takes to get to the NFL” and further, “I’ll give you that knowledge/experience,” doesn’t he have to come through on the second half of that promise if he expects to continue to get the best guys? He does, especially if he PROMISES the guy that experience. There is a reason you always hear coaches saying “You will have the opportunity to compete for the starting job.”

    Bottom line, to the potential 5 star golden domer recruits, Demetrius Jones doesn’t look like the bad guy. He looks like a top recruit who came to Notre Dame because he was promised something that Weis didn’t deliver (I’m sure nothing less than a ticket to the NFL, if not expressly, then it was certainly implied). Someone brought up that he would have to pay for NIU anyway. Granted. But to blue-chip scholarship athletes that’s a huge deal, and a hassle they don’t have to deal with given the other offers out there for them. Even if I’m wrong about it hurting recruiting, it certainly can’t help it. As a Michigan fan and recent alum, I’m thrilled.

    By the way, most asinine comment ever: “I pay $50,000, he shouldn’t complain about $14,000.” You should have added “Thanks mommy and daddy!” You wonder why people are lining up to hate on ND, and then you read that.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  21. No one dislikes ND more than me. That said, what ND is doing is a common practice in all programs and in all sports.

    It’s especially an issue in basketball, where there are considerably fewer scholarships available, and the loss of one player would have a detrimental effect on an entire season.

    The coaches recruit around a plan and once the scholarships are filled, they lock down the roster, by threatening to give them holy hell if they a) want to leave or b) refuse to redshirt when ordered to.

    Jones is getting the holy hell that every college player is promised if they cross the coach.

    It’s a common practice, but that doesn’t make it right. Especially from the holier than thou Irish.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  22. Anonymous at 5:44pm, what makes you think any promises were broken to Jones? Aside from some unsubstantiated and to my mind incredible rumors about Clausen being promised the job as a highschooler, there’s no reason I’ve seen to think that he didn’t get the chance to compete. That JONES feels that he deserved more of a chance than he got just illustrates how people have a natural tendency to overestimate their abilities; I can remember getting cut from sports teams and feeling like I’d been shafted when the fact was that I just sucked.

    By John on Sep 19, 2007

  23. I think it’s pretty irresponsible to not add the fact that he wasn’t getting a scholarship from NIU … that clearly makes a huge difference. I really doubt ND would force him to pay his way if a scholarship was offered. Rather than insinuate that they might have done that, you act like they did it … which isn’t true. I’m an ND fan, and have been fine with the criticism the team has gotten for its play, but I don’t think they deserve people piling on with half truths.
    Boo hoo for Demetrius Jones, he’s getting screwed by ‘the man.’ He was promised playing time, an NFL career, etc. What player isn’t given promises of playing time when they’re being recruited? I think those promises are contingent on their performance, which clearly wasn’t satisfactory. What do people think? That Charlie is playing Clausen because of some promise? Not because it’s what’s best for the team? Demetrius didn’t work hard enough to get the job, period. He felt that the chance to play at NIU, tuition included, was a better option than a free ND education. He deserted the team. ND wanted to make a point that doing that wouldn’t be tolerated. Demetrius wasn’t affected by that decision. Why would ND let him out of the scholarship if it didn’t matter to him financially? That would just set the precedent that the athletic department can be walked all over for the next star high schooler who doesn’t get the playing time they think they deserve, I don’t get how it’s classless.

    By Buzzsaw on Sep 19, 2007

  24. I’ve been busy all day and haven’t had a chance to respond, sorry guys. Anyway, from what I’ve read on some NIU sites and have heard from Huskie fans, NIU certainly had a scholarship available for Jones. Novak said that to make it a non-issue and end the speculation. Plus, with a prospect as good as Jones (according to he was the top prospect out of Illinois in 2006) they would have made one available.

    By Phillips on Sep 19, 2007

  25. Weis and White are a piece of work!

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  26. John, are you telling me you don’t think any promises were broken? Weis will deny it up and down, but it’s clear that a key selling point to recruits is his NFL experience and success, and further, that transferring that in game situations will have value come draft day. I’m sure both Clausen and Jones were promised starting spots, likely while pointing to Brady Quinn (a then projected top 5 pick) as an example of what a 4 year starter could do with a Notre Dame pedigree endorsed by Charlie Weis. I would venture to say this also had some relevance in Zach Frazer’s departure from South Bend as well.

    This is all really beside the point, however. What I was alluding to was that this type of publicity NEVER bodes well for the coaching staff. Top recruits tend to side with the beliefs of other top recruits. As someone mentioned these athletes have been told since they were very young that they are something special, and college recruiting does nothing but to reinforce those beliefs. Esentially they believe they can do no wrong, and if something like this happens once, let alone for two consecutive seasons, the coach has to explain it to every top guy he is trying to sell on the school (something along the lines of “Demetrius was a special case because…”) and further, the athletes have to buy into it. Weis is not exactly establishing the greatest track record in this regard, and given what will likely be a difficult season record to justify, his recruiting prowess is growing ever more shaky.

    By Anonymous at 5:44 on Sep 19, 2007

  27. From Chicago Sun-Times:
    “Jones has intimated that Notre Dame coaches knew he was leaving before he didn’t show up for the team bus to Michigan on Friday, and when (Notre Dame) running back James Aldridge was asked about it Tuesday, he said, ”The coaches, they knew.”

    —>>> Ouch! What will his playing time look like for the rest of the year?

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  28. If ND wanted to make a symbolic gesture they should have let him out of his scholarship. It would shown that they had a touch of class. Best of luck recruiting the Chicago Public League after this.

    By Anonymous on Sep 19, 2007

  29. This regime at Notre Dame hates black coaches AND black QBs

    Really classy.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  30. Considering the massive size of NIU’s roster (116 players listed at CSTV roster and 108 on Scout’s 2006 Eligibility Page which is a better indicator of scholarship players), I think Northern Illinois sports information director Donna Turner was probably telling the truth when she said the Huskies are at their (85) scholarship limit for the 2007 season. I doubt they saved a whole scholarship for an improbable deadline transfer. Scholarships are renewed each academic year so I don’t think NIU can revoke current scholarships at this point, someone would have to voluntarily give it up.

    I am not surprised DJ transfered to NIU where many of his HS teammates play, and he has a better chance to be the #1 QB. This certainly will not help ND’s CPL recruiting, but it may not hurt that much either. Other coaches already have plenty of ND negative pitches (weather, etc) so how effective will one more be?

    I also would not be surprised if Sharpley plays baseball full time next year. That might mean Bragg comes back for a 5th year to be a backup QB.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  31. Leprechaun logic: Even though our coffers have been depleted from child molestation church payouts, lets eat this scholarship to show what happens to rats jumping from the golden dome shipwreck.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  32. Anon at 5:44: I’m just about SURE that the coaching staff never promised Jones he’d start. There have never been reports of this with him or any other ND recruit under Weis, and the amiable way with with Zach Frazer left makes it pretty clear that no such thing was done in his case. Jones wanted to start, and he thought he was better than the staff did. I know whose judgment I’ll trust in that sort of situation.

    Anonymous at 2:09: Great job. Phillips, if all you’re going off of is message board rumors, then you’re on pretty thin ice here. Given the way Jones feels about ND right now, it’s REALLY hard to believe that neither he nor his family would complain about this if it really were an issue for them.

    Anonymous at 12:01: You are an idiot. Is that why ND is the only Division I-A program to have African-Americans at both coordinator positions? And is the reason they have the NCAA’s highest graduation rate for black athletes some sort of weird reverse-racism thing?

    Anonymous at 8:21: You too are an idiot. ‘Nuff said.

    By John on Sep 20, 2007

  33. John,

    You are really drinking the kool-aid my friend. I suppose everyone wants to go to the Notre Dame for the promise of an excellent education and alumni base that supports graduates after college (and, of course, never the football players while they’re still in school). Get real. No Rivals top 100 guy wants anything less than to go pro, and every coach is going to make guys promises (as outlandish as they may seem from you from your pedestal atop the golden dome) to get them to come. This is a commonly accepted fact of recruiting. Though, Notre Dame, after all, is holier than though…so I could be wrong.

    By Anon at 5:44 on Sep 20, 2007

  34. EVEN IF NIU has no scholarship right now, they presumably have one available beginning in January that could count against the 2008 total.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  35. Anon 544: I guess we’re just going to disagree on this one. I mean, look: Jones knew that in the year he was being recruited, ND also had another highly ranked QB prospect coming in. Do you really think ND told BOTH of them they’d definitely be starting once Quinn was gone? A far more likely story – which still respects the point that all these kids want to play in the NFL some day – is that Jones had confidence in his abilities, and was told that he’d get a shot to show them off. He then was upset when the coaching staff didn’t think as much of his abilities as he did, and then decided to transfer.

    Aside from one unsubstantiated blog rumor about this sort of thing happening with Jimmy Clausen, neither Jones, Frazer, nor anyone else at ND has insinuated that players have been promised STARTING jobs – as opposed to an immediate shot at playing time – in their recruitment. I just see no reason to pull this out of thin air.

    Anonymous at 10:31: perhaps they could, but not unless they pulled a scholarship away from someone who already has one. Now THAT would be classy …

    By John on Sep 20, 2007

  36. anon 10:31 am: Scholarships are Full academic year so none will become available in January. The early enrolls counting toward next year is for recruited athletes. Jones is a non recruited transfer so he would count toward the total this year and a initial next year according to this law: Nonrecruited Student-Athlete Receiving Institutional Financial Aid. [FBS/FCS] A
    student-athlete not recruited by the institution who receives institutional financial aid (based in any degree
    on athletics ability) after beginning football practice becomes a counter but need not be counted as an initial
    counter until the next academic year if the institution has reached its initial limit for the year in question.
    However, the student-athlete shall be considered in the total counter limit for the academic year in which
    the aid was first received.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  37. John,

    Agree to disagree. I think you’re seeing the world through golden tinted lenses though.

    No matter what though, you have to find something fishy in a guy only being able to play a couple series as the starter, then kicked to the curb for a guy who hasn’t proven to be any better. I hate the race card here, but you’ve got to wonder a little bit, especially after the Weis/Willingham issue, and the general indifference from alumni and students regarding Weis’ awful start this season (usually what I hear is “We were supposed to be bad this season”). The general consensus from most ND bloggers at the beginning of the season was 7-5. There is no way you were supposed to be THIS bad.

    Also, you made a point that you wouldn’t promise the starting job to 2 top QBs. I say ‘Why not?’. IF you can get both to sign on the loser (in this case Jones) has no real option but to transfer, likely to a smaller school, not in contention for a national title. For arguments sake, the last 2 ND would be QBs went to UConn, and now NIU. For another example, Matt Guitierrez for Michigan went to Idaho State when Henne got the job when he hurt his shoulder and was told he wouldn’t start his senior season). So I ask, why not promise the world to these top guys if for no other reason than to prevent another contender for getting ahold of a top star? This all sounds very cloak and dagger, but what about Weis’ personality would make you put it past him? Just saying promising the job to 2 guys isn’t as outlandish as you make it sound.

    By Anon 544 on Sep 20, 2007

  38. Anon 544: Well, I guess that if I’m seeing the world through golden-tinted lenses, yours must be Irish-hating. In the Georgia Tech game, Jones showed no evidence that he could throw the ball down the field – when he was given a chance to throw, he was sometimes inaccurate and other times just took off running. Notre Dame runs a pro-style offense, and there’s little question that Clausen – who in my opinion looked much better than Jones at everything except running and fumbling – is the best equipped to be the QB for it.

    I think it’s just CRAZY to think that race is playing any real role here. I agree with you that ND fans have been too quick to blame things on Willingham and give Weis a free pass for this season’s awfulness, but that’s in large part because of the guy’s persona and his being an ND alum, as well as the success he had in ’05 and ’06 as well as on the recruiting trail. That ND is, as I mentioned earlier, the only D-I school with African-Americans at both coordinator positions is to my mind sufficient to quell any worries of racism within the administration. (Moreover, ND has historically been an incredibly progressive school when it comes to race issues: Fr. Hesburgh was a close friend of MLK Jr., and I think ND was one of the earliest schools to start admitting black students.)

    On the last point: I guess I agree with you that ND COULD have promised the job to both Jones and Frazer – all I’m saying is that there’s NO evidence to suggest that they DID.

    By John on Sep 20, 2007

  39. FWIW, Blue-Gray Sky has a long post on this whole saga:

    By John on Sep 20, 2007


    By john on Sep 20, 2007

  41. According to John, “Anonymous at 12:01: You are an idiot. Is that why ND is the only Division I-A program to have African-Americans at both coordinator positions? “

    Last I checked both Dwayne Walker and Jay Norvell, UCLA’s coordinators were both black. Not to mention the head coach.

    Check your facts before you call somebody out tough guy.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  42. There is an article about the UCLA Three at Wizard of Odds
    Amazing that both UCLA and ND did it in the same year.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  43. anon at 2:52 – sorry I got my facts wrong; I’d seen that said elsewhere and didn’t bother to check for verification. I take it my major point still stands up well enough, though, eh tough guy?

    By John on Sep 20, 2007

  44. No question that it looks bad, especially in light of the current ND dogpile. But three things to consider here: (1) Jones enrolled at NIU on the 12th, and still practiced with ND the next day; (2) teams deny release of scholarships all the time if the transfer was handled improperly (check – see USC’s denial of a UF transfer), to discourage the school being blindsided in the future, and 3) there is cause to believe that there was transfer tampering. Since many of Jones’ former HS teammates and at least one cousin play for NIU, ND has every right to suspect tampering, especially since the the NIU players knew about it before the ND coaching staff. This happens all the time in college football – quit being naive.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  45. All this talk is funny. Charlie Weis is in his third year and is showing what a great coach he is… Yeah right! I thought the goal is to have a program turned around by the third year in an upward direction, but Charlie’s disproving that theory by going the inverse direction. Oh yeah and everyone was trying to run Willingham off his third year because they weren’t satisfied with his Results and Charlie’s doing better? Yet, I haven’t heard anything but excuses on why Weis isn’t winning. The ironic thing is that Wise was winning the last two years with Willingham recruits and Willingham seems to be doing a much better job right now in his 3rd year at Washington (Going with upward results as mentioned above) than Weis is at ND. Oh yeah and if you want to use Weis having a freshman QB starting, Michigan also had a freshman QB starting and he seemed to managa himself pretty well in defeating ND.

    By Anonymous on Sep 20, 2007

  46. In case anyone still cares, this just in from the ND athletic office:

    September 20, 2007 — University of Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White:

    “Since learning of the situation surrounding the departure of Demetrius Jones on Friday, Sept. 14, the University of Notre Dame has been gathering facts to better assess his interest in transferring. Today, without formal confirmation of Demetrius’ status, we reached out to him to assist him and his family in ascertaining his athletic and academic future plans.

    “We are helping Demetrius compile a list of prospective schools that are not on our immediate future football schedules. We will grant him a release to those schools, and we will assist him in settling at another institution as best we can. It’s our hope that Demetrius can enroll at an institution at which he might be able to receive a scholarship, possibly be eligible for the 2008 football season and, importantly, continue to make progress toward his degree without interruption.

    “We have initiated our normal protocol by identifying a list of institutions to which he has an interest in transferring. While Demetrius did not consult us on his decision, the University and he are now working together in our customary fashion. Our hope is that this process assists him in finding an institution that will enable him to meet his goals both as a student and as an athlete.”

    By John on Sep 20, 2007

  47. Weis will run away and be coaching the NY Giants in 8 months anyway. Solely based on his name. Then all these Domer sycophants will be crying about what a crap coach this guy really is.

    Everyone makes a big deal about his mentorship under Belichek and Parcells – Belichek and Brady called ALL of the plays, and Parcells stripped Weis of his playcalling duties while they were at the Jets. Sad… but true.

    By Anonymous on Sep 21, 2007

  48. gotta love the 1st few comments… hilarious.

    apparently this blog should be entitled “ND FANS are all class”!

    btw, – ND does an about-face on releasing Jones

    make notice of the “if”

    By bri on Sep 22, 2007

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