By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) As I’m trying to figure out Notre Dame football disciplinary policy, I have noted that smoking weed and having an unlicensed gun in your car gets you booted from the team immediately, but allegedly assaulting and battering a police officer merely results in indefinite suspension.
And for this coach Brian Kelly is being roundly praised for his toughness and decisiveness? Please.
Losing safety Max Redfield was easy for Kelly, because he was already on his final straw. It was more than the already-publicized suspension for last year’s Fiesta Bowl that had Redfield on close watch, sources told 670 The Score, adding Kelly had considered getting rid of him even before Saturday’s incident.
There’s rising concern among those above Kelly that the decision regarding senior cornerback Devin Butler may need to be revisited, sources told 670, in light of the disturbing details provided by court documents citing probable cause for his arrest. He has yet to be charged formally, pending further investigation.
A university spokesman has indicated that a felony charge could result in automatic expulsion, but for now Butler remains in limbo, which is a direct contradiction to those lauding Kelly for acting so swiftly and responsibly.
Butler, who was said to be intoxicated, allegedly shoved a woman and was pushed away from her by a police officer and told to stay back. He instead cursed at officers, tackled one to the ground and began punching him repeatedly, according to reports. He was eventually subdued by taser.
And he hasn’t yet been kicked off the football team.
These situations are sadly all too common in major college football, but they’re always more complicated for Notre Dame, which still to this day has a vocal and influential group of school leaders and alumni who actually believe such incidents don’t or can’t happen there, due to some remaining sense of exceptionalism even in the face of a mountain of evidence that suggests otherwise.
Kelly, the football program and the school can hide behind the legal proceedings in looking for cover on what to do about Butler, and that appears to be the case as of now.
But until they take his violent attack of a police officer more seriously, we need to hold off on celebrating what common-sense action has already been taken.