Tuesday, January 23, 2007


What was commented on this site late last night has been reported in the South Bend Tribune: text. Tom Noie painted a pretty bleak picture in his article, mentioning "[McAlarney's future with the team] all changed, maybe forever, on Monday. "

First let me applaud ResLife for this difficult decision. No matter your opinion on marijuana use, the difference between DUI and drug possession, and the Administration in general, the McAlarney's dismissal from the University fell in line with normal procedure.

From DuLac:

"11. Disciplinary Suspension — Separation from the University for at least one semester. The student is eligible to apply for readmission to Notre Dame. Readmission after suspension is not automatic; a suspended student must complete an application for readmission. Readmission must be cleared by the Office of Student Affairs, the suspended student’s academic department and the Office of Student Accounts."

Four out of five drug cases at ND result in a one semester suspension. Many students return to normal college life the next semester and move on. Of course, this policy is much stricter than most colleges nationwide, but Notre Dame holds its students to a higher standard.

Had this been a "normal" case, the punishment would have raised no eyebrows. Had he been a less integral part of the basketball team, few would bemoan Kyle's dismissal. He knew what he was doing, and must face the consequences.

Now what? I can confidently predict that Kyle McAlarney plays for Notre Dame next season. His desire to remain with the team after his indefinite suspension shows that the young man can take responsibility for his actions and wishes to be a Notre Dame graduate. Coach Brey's willingness to keep Kyle shows that he has enough confidence in the young man to move forward. The legal process will not be done for a year if he stays drug-free and his basketball career would be better served than if he sat out half a season to transfer.

No one wins in this situation, but if Kyle can make up the lost credits and return with his head held high, the situation can mend itself. As far as this season goes, the Irish have shown an ability to win games with Tory Jackson and I am sure will continue to do so as the young man gathers more confidence. Good luck to him and all the players tonight vs. St. John's.


Anonymous said...

My only thought of possible leniency is because the incident occurred off-campus and while school is in session. If 1 out of 5 isn't suspended, what are the circumstances of that one? McAlarney's ability to pass/fail a drug test would be something else I would like to have if I were on the review board. (use vs. possession) I guess the only way to avoid punishment is to not commit the crime.

BlackandGreen said...

I believe that the majority of drug cases that do not result in semester dismissals are either repeat offenders or "possession with intent to distribute." These would warrant move sever punishment.

I am sure that there are similar cases that have resulted in less serious punishment, but I do not know what the reasons behind those decisions were. The idea of the tough stance on drugs is exactly as you said, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time," regardless of the situation (use vs. possession).

Of course, it's not a perfect system, but under the current rules McAlarney was thankfully treated just like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Having been kicked out of ND myself, I know a little of the embarrassment and anger Mac's feeling right now (I say "a little" because my situation obviously did not play out in the newspapers.) I hope, for his sake and ours, that he chooses to come back to ND, which it sounds like he'll be allowed to do.

When I was booted, I carried away a lot of residual anger from the process. In the run-up to a decision from the university on your status, you're made to jump through a bunch of hoops and make some commitments, and when that doesn't save you from expulsion, it leaves you feeling extra stupid.

But in retrospect, that anger was just coming from embarrassment. I deserved what I got, and ND gave me a second chance. Further, upon readmittance ND proved itself to be anything but the calculating, callous place I'd painted it as during my exile.

Indeed, when a year later, I developed a drinking problem that seriously hurt my academic perfomance, the counselors, profs, and the Deans at my college (Waddick and Austgen) bent over 180 degrees to help me get my life in order and graduate. It would have been very easy for them to say, "This kid had his chance. We're done with him now." But instead, they guided me towards the solutions that let me get my life in order.

It's not exaggerration to say that I would not be the stable, successful person I am today without their help and compassion.

I mention this, not because I think Mac has all the same sort of problems I did. But I'm guessing that a large part of his anger stems from being cast out of a family he felt very much a part of. I know hat feeling and it sucks.

But the best decision I ever made -- in all my life -- was to commit myself to finishing what I started at ND.

I wish Mac luck wherever he goes. But I really hope he comes back to us.

BlackandGreen said...


Thanks for your comment.

I've thankfully never had to be in such a position myself, so I can't truly understand how it feels for K-Mac. You hit the nail on the head about the residual anger we are seeing in the press from Kyle. I hope that he does end up realizing that not all of his frustration stems from his "mistreatment" by the University and eventually eecides to return. Overall, he seems to be a great guy and I would love to have him back.

Spike '62 said...

Wow! I think you really missed the point about KMac. It wasn't as muchthe punishment didn't fit the crime as it was HOW it was administered. He was somehow lead to believe he wouldn't be suspended, otherwise his family wouldn't have had "bus loads" of people going to the game. Why was this not done before classed began? Why was he told just before the team left for NYC? I see an arrogant, condesending, tactless, and pompous board that showed little respect for a human being. It appeared totally self-serving and displayed the holier-than-thou attitude so many people see in so many of Notre Dame's public statements. Could there not have been any compassion felt by the administrators as they imposed their unyielding righteousness? How 'bout a little common sense?I say "shame" also. KMac has felt his shame for weeks, publically. Now the University should feel it's own shame in its abuse of power.

BlackandGreen said...

I do think your argument about how the punishment was administered is more valid than complaints about the actual punishment. Unfortunately, it seems that most people are upset about the actual punishment. Jason Kelly, Gary Parrish, and other columnists have taken that standpoint, as have many fans.

To reply to your own argument, I agree that his family should have been able to see this coming. I don't know who hinted at a shorter suspension, but it was wrong to make the family believe anything other than the truth.

As far as the actual process goes, it is my understanding that Student Affairs meets on Thursdays during the school year. After the preliminary meeting, a second meeting follows with the punishment. While it is unfortunate that the situation could not have been dealt with sooner, Kyle was not the only person awaiting his punishment. He was treated just like any other student throughout the whole process. If your argument is based in changing the system for everyone, that's one thing. However, Kyle's process was just like everyone else and I have to respectively disagree with your opinion.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a Notre Dame grad and life long fan, I have no sympathy for Kyle. He accepted the terms of behavior as a high profile representitive of the university. In return he received a free education worth over forty grand a year. He should be held to the highest standards. I hope is man enough to overcome this mistake and returns to Notre Dame and has a stellar career.