Sunday, December 31, 2006


For those of you who don't usually read comments, former Irish basketball player Ron Reed responded to my previous article:

If you are putting "Academically Ineligible" in the category of "Foolishness" then I plead guilty as charged. But if you are putting "Academically Ineligible" in the same category as a "D.U.I." and "Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance", which sounds like you are, then you are not nearly as intelligent as you think you are.

Sheff and I were certainly wrong for not keeping our grades up, and by the way it happened to me twice, and it has happened to other athletes at Notre Dame as well. But after two years in the N.B.A. and seventeen years in Major League Baseball I have never had a D.U.I. and I have never been arrested for any illegal substance use or possession.

Attacking someone's ineligibility is an attack on his study habits in and out of the classroom. Attacking someone's use of alcohol and or substance abuse is an attack on his character. Two entirely different subjects.

Ron Reed Notre Dame Basketball 1961-1965
I want to be crystal clear on this -- in no way do I equate academic issues of any kind with illegal substance issues of any kind, and it was not my intention to suggest that players who have problems with grades have the same problems as players who have problems with drugs.

I talked about the 1962-63 season because key players had made a bad off-court decision -- the decision not to study and keep the grades up -- and that off-court decision had an effect on the team's on-court fortunes, much in the same way whatever decisions led to marijuana being found in KMac's car were also bad ones that may lead to a similar seasonal effect for Notre Dame.

I certainly didn't mean to impugn Ron Reed's or Larry Sheffield's character. Their teammates all spoke of them as being high-quality people, and in the limited interaction I've had with Ron, I've found that to be the case as well. I didn't put a fine enough point on my analogy (assuming I should have made it in the first place), and I'm sorry.

(Also as a clarification, I'm not saying KMac has problems with drugs. In fact, the whole entry probably violated my own admonishments to folks to wait until the facts fully come out before commenting on things. Certainly not my best work. I guess I was right -- foolishness is not in short supply these days.)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apology accepted, but it really wasn't necessary. I just wanted the point made, as you have done, that the two subjects were of an entirely different nature. I love Notre Dame with all of my heart and soul and would love to change that "Foolish" decision I made of not studying enough back in the 6o's. Unfortunately I can't. We all make stupid decisions in our lives, our only hope is that we learn from them and go on from there. Hopefully K-Mac will do the same. Ron Reed

12/31/2006 12:24:00 PM  

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