Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mary frowns on McAlarney's marijuana misstep

On Thursday night, Fighting Irish starting point guard Kyle McAlarney was on top of the world. He had just scored a career high 21 points to lead the surprising 20th ranked Irish basketball team to a 50-point victory. Yet somehow, he thought he still needed to get a little higher, and a promising Notre Dame career may now be up in smoke.

According to AP wire reports, McAlarney was arrested for marijuana possession early Friday morning. Coach Mike Brey originally said he would play Kyle until the pot problem was dealt with by Notre Dame Student Affairs. However, Brey, after getting more facts, realized McAlarney's folly was not a bunch of blarney, suspended his dynamic point guard, first from Saturday's game, and then indefinitely. It didn't help that Notre Dame was playing Stonybrook Saturday, as all the partying jokes ("Hey Kyle, it's Stoner-brook! I bet you could play for them!") only added injury to insult.

The game itself, a 95-66 Notre Dame victory, was almost an afterthought. As the last cupcake on the Irish schedule until the grueling Big East begins, Notre Dame All-American candidate Russel Carter (23 points, including 14 of Notre Dame's first 18) could almost single-handedly sink the Seawolves. But ND's eight turnovers in the first six minutes, due in large part to McAlarney's absence, were a bad omen of things to come.

While marijuana possession is not exactly the equivalent of the rapes and murders that go on at other campuses where sports come first, athletes are kings, and attending class is an afterthought, I sit here on the Feast of the Holy Family knowing that Our Lady cannot be happy. During its glory years in football, the Fighting Irish teams WERE like families (large Catholic families that is), and even the non-Catholic players knew what the team, the University, and the Faith was about. Basketball Coach Mike Brey now has his work cut out for him getting the team/family aspect back not to mention the prospect of playing a brutal schedule short-handed. And you thought Charlie Weis had it tough playing Louisiana State (in the Jan. 3 Sugar Bowl) in New Orleans!

Our Lady on the Dome, pray for them!

1 comment :

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