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What would Touchdown Jesus Do?

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Jimmy Clausen may have gotten himself in some hot water for drinking some cold ones. (AP Photo)

Notre Dame, bastion of all things football and Catholic, must now have the alleged drinking habits of their starting quarterback, Jimmy Clausen scrutinized. What looks like a mild game of flip-cup might ultimately lead to the Irish lining up another quarterback under center for the season opener Sept. 6 against San Diego State should any disciplinary action be pursued.

This stuff pisses me off. Why, you ask?

It's college. Kids drink. Drama students drink. Sorority sisters drink. Athletes drink. And let's not forget about the rampant tailgating before, after and during these games.

This is a pretty universally accepted fact, and yet some sort of righteous indignation always comes out when visual evidence of a student-athlete drinking emerges.

Clausen didn't hurt anyone. He didn't steal anything. He just did -- allegedly-- what so many of his peers do every weekend to varying extremes. And, it's national news now.

Now, I realize that this conduct is in direct contradiction to the honor code and flies in the face of the standards Notre Dame has set up for itself. But does it bother anyone else that the fairly innocuous actions of an almost 21-year-old take on such an importance when there's visual evidence but are an in-house matter when there isn't?

If this was not splattered all over the internet, Notre Dame brass would be brushing this off and handing it behind closed-doors and Clausen would probably be the opening day starter. Now, Charlie Weis' hand is forced and he's in a no-win situation.

What discipline, if any, should be levied against Clausen?

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I think those publishing these types of photos are pathetic voyeurs ... the worst types of bloggers. There's something known as journalism of personal destruction, and that's all this is.

But it speaks to the consumer as well. Until we stop wanting to get a peek into the social lives of our heroes, there's going to be a market for those willing to bring them down.

As far as punishment: Absolutely nothing. Sometimes the right punishment is to do absolutely nothing and let the embarrassment of being splattered across the internet -- and not to mention the inevitable reporters' questions -- suffice.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on August 5, 2008 1:01 PM.

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