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The Proper Response

First of all, a note on the role of NDNation. We're simply a conduit for the voices that make up our community. When an issue such as "the tailgating-usher-police crackdown" is felt by so many different levels of our community, we raise the issue to heighten that awareness. None of us ever expected that the problem was this pervasive. NDNation is rarely the source, but an outlet for many voices who share a concern.

After watching the give and take over two days, there appear to be three parts to this embarrassing meltdown of leadership.
  • A local police force that treats alumni and students with disdain and uses them as a virtual ATM.

  • A leadership team including Fr. Mark Poorman, Bill Kirk and Cappy Gagnon (Coordinator of Stadium Personnel) who have let their personal views influence the way they carry out a very important and public professional responsibility.
  • An administration which is at the very least unresponsive if not an advocate of these policies.

Together they have created a situation that is ripe for abuse. There's no limiter here. No one's minding the store and thinking about victim's rights. In this type of environment, it's not surprising that abuse has happened as too many to count have claimed. Given human nature and the competing influences, abuse has to happen in this environment.

The cops don't like the "wealthy" kids and raise money off of them. Not a new story. How else could a town rife with real crime justify using its entire police force to bust a party?

Those immediately in charge are carrying a personal anti-drinking crusade way too far, beyond any boundary of normalcy or rational thinking. Cappy's exchanges on the topics are embarrassing and far too revealing. Did he really ban Go Irish pins on ushers? You've got to be kidding.

The administration seems to have plausible deniability, while individual reports are attributed to drunks or malconents or ignored.

It has to stop.

What you can do?

  • Bring your cameras to the tailgate this week and for every game and send us the pictures when abuse happens.
  • Use your cell phone cameras to capture confrontations in ND Stadium and email us the story.
  • Contact us with your story and we'll forward to a group of lawyers who have volunteered their time. There may be a group action pending. We'll let you know.
  • Send a letter threatening to cut off donations unless this is stopped.

This won't be a one week affair from our point of view, but a continuous effort to document and make public abuse when it happens. If it happens, it's going to be fed around the internet at light speed. The best we can do is turn the light on the roaches. After that, we really have no influence. But you do.

Here's a fantastic example of a proper response with regard to donations to the University:

Mr. Louis Nanni
Vice President, University Relations
University of Notre Dame
405 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Mr. John Affleck-Graves
Executive Vice President
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear Sirs:

I am writing you this letter today in response to the recent solicitation from the University’s Annual Fund. I can say, without reservation, that my time spent at Notre Dame helped make me the happy and successful man I am today. I had the good fortune to attend Notre Dame as both an undergraduate and a graduate student, and my continuing role as part of the “Notre Dame Family” gives me immense pride. I am proud to say I have degrees from the University of Notre Dame du lac. I have contributed to Notre Dame since graduation, and as my situation has improved financially, I have increased my giving to Notre Dame. Perhaps modest by your standards, this year would be the first where I was able to contribute at the recognition level (the Sorin Society or John Cardinal O’Hara Society.)

Enclosed you will find a check for $1,500 for the University. Events over the last few years, and specifically this year, have given me pause about making this donation. I am not sure the Notre Dame of today still represents all that was good and right with the University I attended only a few years ago. Specifically, it appears that the Notre Dame Administration no longer views students and alumni as part of the “Notre Dame Family”. I will detail my concerns in the following paragraphs, but I have voided my check at this time due to these concerns. I will gladly replace the voided check with a valid check when I feel that the Notre Dame Administration has the best interests of its students and alumni at heart. Until then, I cannot in good conscience support the University I love so much. This deeply saddens me, and is not a decision I came to lightly.

I suspect that your offices have received many letters complaining about various University policies. I do not share the University’s views on all matters, but I understand the typically reasonable positions Notre Dame may take on matters. However it now appears to me that much of what made Notre Dame special for me, the sense of family and looking out for each other, has been discarded in favor of an antagonistic relationship with those who adore the ideal that is Notre Dame. I sincerely hope that my feelings are misplaced.

There are three main areas where I feel the University has abandoned what made Notre Dame such a special place – in effect abandoned the idea of the “Notre Dame Family”. The first is campus life; one of the reasons I chose Notre Dame was the camaraderie of the dorms. The second area is the excessively aggressive law enforcement in and around campus, which appears to be supported by the Administration. The last area of concern is the atmosphere in Notre Dame Stadium, which is being systematically destroyed by overzealous ushers and safety officers.

Notre Dame campus life was a tremendous asset to the University when I attended. I met many of my closest and dearest friends in the halls of Morrissey, and many other wonderful people, now spread across the globe, in various dorms. Sometimes we had some beers; sometimes we played video games; sometimes we talked about life, philosophy, and the world around us. We went to dances with women from Lyons and Howard. We did not have to sneak halfway across town to have a party in secret.

We kept an eye out for each other. Sometimes friends overdid it, and when they did there were friends and dorm mates around to make sure everything was alright. If someone was causing trouble, they were dealt with as needed, rather than branding everyone as troublemakers. I have visited the dorms since my graduation, and none of this is present anymore. Instead there is a feeling that enjoying oneself must be a clandestine enterprise. Gatherings that were purely for students to meet and have fun are now forbidden, such as the Dillon Pep Rally and Alumni and Fisher Hall events. The new policies regarding events, dances, dorm parties, and general dorm life have served not to reduce the risk faced by students, but merely relocate it to a less secure environment. This is not how we treat members of the Notre Dame Family.

The deliberate escalation by police of innocuous student and alumni behavior around campus, specifically in the surrounding neighborhood and tailgating lots, is totally unacceptable. Based on the presence on Notre Dame Security Police officers at many of these incidents, the Administration appears complicit in these activities. The police presence in the neighborhoods and around the tailgates should be a source of comfort for the students and fans in these areas. I do not want to be around people fighting, vomiting, or engaging in lewd behavior.

However, these are not the people the safety forces target, instead they seek to intimidate and extort otherwise harmless students and fans, who are causing no problems for those around them. I can recount several events I have witnessed directly, but I believe you will hear about these firsthand. These stories are all over the internet, as I am sure you are aware, and I have seen several examples of ridiculously aggressive police behavior both to underage students and legal age alumni. The bottom line is that safety officers are intentionally targeting those that are likely to pay whatever fees are necessary to clear their name, rather than address the rare legitimate problem fan or student. Notre Dame is letting those that should be protecting our students and fans instead abuse them both physically and legally, and the University remains complicit with these activities. This is not how we treat members of the Notre Dame Family.

My last concern is with the atmosphere of Notre Dame Stadium, specifically that created by the largely volunteer ushers. I have sat in various sections and seats over the last two years, and I will say that the majority of ushers I have interacted with have been both professional and courteous. However, on two separate occasions I have seen fans removed for no reason, other than appearing ‘drunk’ to the usher, but not to anyone around them. They were not causing any disturbance to those around them, and in one case the fan, who was a friend of mine, was not even aware the usher had an issue with them until they were physically yanked out of the row by the arm. I had tended to believe these were isolated incidents of an usher out of control, but I have since learned that the ushers are given directives to remove as many people from the stands as possible. Any head usher encouraging such tactics should be removed from such a position.

This should not be happening in Notre Dame Stadium. I fully support the removal of unruly fans, but unruly folks only comprise a small percentage of those accosted, in very aggressive manners, by the ushers and police. It seems the goal is to harass those targeted by the stadium personnel until they are willing to surrender their civil rights to remove themselves from the situation. Numerous alumni have been issued no trespassing notices by Notre Dame, with little or no reason other than being in the vision of an overzealous usher or police officer. This is not how we treat members of the Notre Dame Family.

I have never been ticketed, cited, or arrested by the police (other than a speeding ticket when I was 17 years old.) I am not some angry fan who was ejected from the stadium. I am a concerned alumnus who has seen others, just like me, penalized without any just cause. I have no doubt some people at college parties, at tailgates, and in the stadium behave poorly. But the vast majority does not, and I now believe the majority of incidents are not caused by students or fans, but rather by those in authority causing the situation and causing aggressive confrontation.

As I said in my opening paragraph, Notre Dame has always been a special place for me. It was a place where everyone worked together toward the common good. It was a family where everyone looked out for everyone else. Sometimes being a family means seeing faults in the members of our family, even when it pains us. When I look at the Administration, I see some significant faults with your complicity in the recent wave of aggressive targeting of students and alumni. A family does not persecute their own for the pecuniary benefit of others. I know Notre Dame is better than that. I sincerely hope this letter is shocking to you. What I have seen myself and heard from others does not represent the Notre Dame Family. I am open to discuss this letter with you if you wish. I would like to continue to support Notre Dame; it gives me no pleasure to have voided the check attached. Please let me know how my concerns are being seriously addressed, and I will happily continue my support of Notre Dame.

Yours in Notre Dame,

(My name and contact info)


Blogger akdomer said...

This guy has to go. Is there any doubt?

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Jesus is Love said...

Very well written response to this issue. Maybe I'm naive but I know that my class in 1980 included folks who drank too much on occasion and deserved reprimand for their actions. If I remember correctly this was by ND folks, either security or rector, etc. For the most part those disciplined learned their mistakes or in the extreme cases were asked to leave school. Far and away the majority of miscreants learned from their mistakes and became pretty successful members of their communities. If not we should all pray for them as we are one holy catholic and apostolic church! Can't we deal with this as a truly catholic community? Let you are lilly white cast the first stone!
God Bless ND and all of those who need such blessing.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is wrong for the University to have hospitality tents around campus where alcohol flows freely with the University's blessing, and then when a fan enters the stadium having had a drink, he is thrown out by ushers that Cappy calls his "Beer Nazis". This is a disgrace!

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great point. The school had no qualms with opening up Legends in the stadium parking lot and serving alcohol on game day but it does not expect fans to have drank before they arrive at their seats. As an aside, it's humorous that they banned all hard alcohol from campus but serve it at legends. I guess hard alcohol is only banned when you don't buy from them?

2:36 AM  
Blogger Garr said...

I am a friend and classmate of Cappy Gagnon and I don't know anyone who is more dedicated to Notre Dame. Personally, I get tired of all the drinking that goes on and the drunks who think they can run roughshot over the rights of the more sober people. I also find the ushers at ND stadium to be helpful and very courteous. I think your crusade is targeting a very good man in Cappywho is doing a terrific job in security at the stadium.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What to do!!
I am a new Usher this season. I have loved Notre Dame all my life. Brought up with Irish blood. Just a simple person that wakes up every morning,goes to work to support my family with a Notre Dame shirt- jacket on with pride!!. All my friends and family know me with an honest outlook to life,and my passion for Notre Dame. My wife was so happy for me for becoming an Usher as she knew how special this was. Showing that awsome yellow hat and vest to my family and my Grandpa who started my Notre Dame passion, made me feel so proud and was at that time a few weeks ago.. a dream come true. My family knew this was a great honer for me as i hsve been a loyal obsessed Notre Dame fan all my life!! I was just shaking my first day walking in the Stadium. So full of pride knowing i was a part of something so special that Knute Rockney himself started!! The Blue and Gold game was our first day as Cappy welcomed us with a sence of pride and honer. We were give 3 simple rules to follow. WELCOME TO NOTRE DAME. HOW MAY I HELP YOU. LET ME HELP YOU FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU. Never at any time was i instucted to be a beer NAZI! I am just so heartbroken to even be labels as such. All i want to do is be a part of this special place and now i am fearfull-scared to death of going to the Stanford game Saturday with all of this i have been reading. With the attire i wear i am a walking bullseye now with shattered dreams. I am not a Nazi and to even post that word with anyting applied to Notre Dame or myself is just not right. As an Usher it is my intention to be an honest proud ambasador for this University and would give my last breath for it, any fan or visitor, and to our beloved Lady above the Dome!! All i ask is just give me a chance folks. "Welcome to Notre Dame".... "Hail Usher!!" Its to sad to even think about. God Bless. GO IRISH!!

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Dissapointed '99 Alum said...

I don't believe Cappy Gagnon is doing a good job at all. As his own writings have made clear, he has "us against them" mentality that he and his ushers apply to an overbroad group of students, alumni, and subway alumni. The guilty-until-proven-innocent approach -- whether taken by Gagnon, the excise police, or ND Student Affairs -- is misplaced and a disservice to the Notre Dame family.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Wooderson said...


Do you yell "down in front!" when someone is standing to support the defense?

As for the "drunks running roughshod", you may need a bit of worldly wisdom to temper your harsh view of our fanbase.

In Morgantown, WV, couch are known to be set alight by students who have no interest in actually attending the game.

At Wake Forest (an aspirational peer, if you will), students bring 750mL bottles of whiskey into the stadium with the express purpose of consumign the entire thing before the end of the game (it's called "Senior Fifth", and I've seen a great many pictures of it).

And in Columbus, OH, there a many, shall we say, "presents", left in coolers for the grounds crew to pick up.

Contrast this with the atmosphere in Notre Dame Stadium. At the UM game, a young kid about 5, saw the students doing pushups in the section in front of us, and asked his dad if he could partake as well. The father asked my buddy and I (grown men) to help his son realize this. 7 pushups late,r there wasa sparkle in the kids eye, as he got his first taste of the ND spirit. This lasted for about 15 seconds, as an usher came sprinting up into the stands to yell at all of us, saying we would be kicked out if we tried this again. we were not drunk, we were not obnoxious, and most everyone in our section was counting along the boy got to do his pushups.

What I'm trying to say is, the ND experience is still a wonderful thing, and compared to other schools "spirits" is about as sanitized at it can possibly be. and yet, there is still an active effort afoot to wipe out that last vestige of that which makes us unique.

I just feel sorry for the kid who started crying when we were yelled at.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fell in love with ND in 2000 on my son's recruiting trip (not football). ND was simply great for my son and I will be forever greatful. I truly feel he gained another great family. I felt proud to have won seasons tickets in the recent lottery and proud to have written my cheque (Cdn). It happens every time, but at the Purdue game I got tears in my eyes during the alma mater after the game, and the same happens during the Our Father and alma mater at mass on Sunday. And now I feel terrible about all these incidents - to think that after a few beers it could have happened to me. The Usher's remarks echo my feelings at the cloud that now covers our hearts. The author says it best - we would not treat our family this way, nor would good Christians treat others this way. It is that simple to me. God bless the Admin in dealing with this. I will always support ND - but maybe not some of those who run it.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous suave_andrew said...

Garr -

What is your opinion of Cappy's response to the story of the disabled war veteran? The guy was legitimately abused and Cappy basically said, 'shit happens and he shouldn't have thrown up on the policeman when he grabbed him by the neck.'

He did not express sympathy or care and moreover acted like the vet was in the wrong. He said the ushers 'bailed him out' from getting arrested, but why was he getting arrested in the first place??? Because he lost his balance because he has vertigo attacks from a war wound?

The administration has allowed police officers and security personnel to act as judge and jury and, even worse, appear to encourage aggressive behavior in removing anyone who could 'possibly be inebriated'. They've set up a policy whose last paragraph explicitly says that students will receive an alcohol violation on their record if they are perceived to have been possibly drinking, without any proof at all.

Cappy may be a nice person in most respects, but he has been shown to be a zealot against anyone who drinks alcohol and perceives it as a character flaw (this is shown multiple times in his observer articles). What's worse, he thinks that it's up to him to solve the problem, a problem of perception - his perception.

What the school is doing is illegal in some respects, and against the wishes of alumni in almost all respects. The school is forsaking its own and playing the role of Puritans instead of Catholics.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An Ushers Point of View:

I am a 10 year usher at the University of Notre Dame. I love my job and take it seriously. Over the 10 years, I have had the chance to promote up but have decided not to due to added pressures of the job. I just want to come to the stadium and have a good time.

Cappy is a very nice man and always greets everyone with a Welcome to Notre Dame and expects it back. Yes he has some "out of the wall" ideas and thoughts. But as has been said in other post, he is a smart man and really does care for peoples safety. Yes he does call certain section of usher "beer nazis". He does that because he wants the stadium to be safe and is not willing to let anyone stop that.

Now I can't comment on what's going on around campus. I see what the campus cops and city/state po po are doing and I think its stupidity at its finest. I do think that the newest member of the athletic staff, the new AD has a lot of explaining to do as well as other main administration personnel.

As far as the hospitality tents are concern. I know that one of the comments earlier complained about it. But it looks as if someone is ill-informed. First the area is ran by the sports properties. Which is a totally different part of Notre Dame and has nothing to do with the main part of Notre Dame. Also each company that has a tent in the area are to police their own people. The corporations pay for the booze and food, not Notre Dame. There are ushers there, but they are there to make sure that no one enters or leaves with alcohol. Also they do have the rights to ask any person who is miss behaving (alcohol or causing a disruption) to leave. They are polite about things and do not need police personnel there to help. There is a campus police officer there, but usually stays to the side out of the way.

Over the past 10 years, I have loved my time at Notre Dame. I am tired of people ragging on the ushers. Most of us are volunteers. The ushers inside the stadium, are volunteer and get to watch the game. The ushers at the gate area, are paid only because they do not get to watch the game. We have 900 ushers from every state. We have lots of ushers who drive into town and spend money at local hotels and on campus. So like the spectators, we love Notre Dame.

In closing, I want to Welcome you to Notre Dame. I hope your stay is a wonderful one.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Garr said...

A couple people attacked my defense of Cappy Gagnon. No, I don't yell "down in front" to people in front of me who are standing and yelling. In fact under those circumstances I am up and screaming too. That is part of the fun of going to the games. I wish that the alumni in the upper deck of the stadium were louder in support of the team.

The drunken behavior is another issue, but people standing and cheering seem to be sober so it is not a problem for me. I do dislike having to encounter drunks at the stadium and I go out of my way to avoid them. My own obversation is they are a small minority of the people at the stadium. I personally don't drink at ND football games but that is just a personal preference.

I read some of what happened to the Iraqui war veteran (I am a Viet Nam veteran) and I am sympathetic to his plight. However, that is a most unusual situation and I hope is handled better in the future.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"now i am fearfull-scared to death of going to the Stanford game Saturday with all of this i have been reading."

I feel for you, man, I really do. Unlike a lot of the people on these boards, I have actually met Cappy, and have personally had nothing but pleasant experiences with him. He was always a nice guy to me. I also knew a lot of the ushers during my time at ND, and all of them were nothing but friendly.

However, these stories aren't "blown smoke." One of my better friends (and roommate while I was at ND) provided one of the stories that you can find here. A couple of beers with his family, and walking up the stairs with his girlfriend to their seats, he trips, and gets hauled out, ticketed, and forced to sign the campus-ban. It's the same story that a multitude of people have recounted.

I am sorry that you are scared about having people in the crowd enter the stadium with preconceived notions about you, but how about the rest of us? I, unlike most of my friends, only got one year of tailgating in in my years at ND. I spent the rest of my time getting my monogram. Now, two destroyed knees and one destroyed ankle later, I can't remember a recent time where I HAVEN'T stumbled while walking the stadium.

After giving up my prime tailgating years, what happens if I enjoy a few beers with my brats while catching up with old friends in various tailgates, and then lose coordination going up the stairs because my once-strong knees now decide to quit on me?

I hope that if (God forbid) something happens that Mr. Kirk comes down himself and looks me in the eye and tells me that even though I would often have to walk back to my car with a sweat-soaked shirt freezing to my chest hair before the sun was even up, and even though the lawn outside the JACC was personally watered with the vomit resulting from pushing myself so hard, and even though I gave up an inordinate amount of "free time" that college kids supposedly are swimming in, and even though I often found myself scribbling out notes and homework in the back of a bus, or on an airplane tray, and even though I loved my university and friends enough to go through all of that... That I am just no longer wanted. My service is concluded, and I am free to go and never return.

I am not a man that enjoys feeling afraid, but I'm not ashamed to say that I am now afraid to relax and unwind with some friends that I only really get to see a few times a year at these games.

And that, my friends, is not right.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I've had one daughter and two sons
graduate from Notre Dame in the past 14 years. During that time,
I was continually reminded of the user unfriendly atmosphere on and around the N.D. campus. The place appears to have some kind of "gotcha" mentality. I was always
hearing about some N.D. classmate
being formally charged by the administration or the South Bend police for some alleged drinking
violation. It often ended up with
some type of conviction, costing the student and his/her family money and a lot of time. The penalties always seemed very draconian in relationship to the
offense. Of course, no one approves of excessive underage
drinking and it must be prohibited.
However, what is going on at N.D.
to address the problem is just plain counterproductive and appears to be a money making scheme
by the South Bend authorities. Before someone gets really hurt
at one of these police confrontations, the President of Notre Dame had better step in and
deal with this matter. I have four
other children who graduated from
four other large universities and not once in that collective 16 years did I learn of any one of there classmates getting into serious legal problems due to
tailgates and parties. I can't tell you how many N.D. parents
I know who sweated out their kids
last semester at N.D. for fear of them being caught up in some phony
police action, especially as most of them lived off campus. If Notre
Dame continues to do nothing sbout
this serious problem with the local police, more and more parents
will think twice about sending their kids into such a threatening

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone besides me realize how ridiculous this conversation makes us look as nd fans?

i've been going to notre dame games for 30+ years - to multiple home games every year - and i never once have had a problem with the police. then again i don't get drunk nor do i try to get into a pissing match with anyone either.

this entire conversation (and especially the prominence assigned to it) makes us look as if we're a bunch of low-class drunks.

and sadly, i think i'm one of the few who can actually see that clearly...

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Paul P said...

New Usher,

A clarification. The "beer Nazi" phrase reportedly originated with Gagnon himself. He claimed that he wants his ushers to be "beer Nazis."

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I became an usher in 2000, am on leave right now until my son finishes school. Cappy is one hell of a man. He is honorable and makes it his personal responsibility to make game day experiences top notch for the guest.
"Welcome to Notre Dame" was his idea. And as he states he doesn't have any "friends" If someone is stopped for alcohol in the stadium that says they know Cappy will be removed from the stadium just as fast if not faster than anyone else.
Make me understand as a non-drinker. You pay big money to park and pay for tickets, pay a lot of money for lodging if out of town yet some can't even remember a game because they are too drunk. Make absolutely no sense to me.
Cappy is doing a fantastic job.
He deserves our respect!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess 'Mr. Notre Dame' Gagnon never observed the numerical tattoos on the arms of several long-term female workers in the South Dining Hall. The tattoos were the numbers that the Nazis needled into their skin before imprisoning them in concentartion camps.

These survivors never covered their tattoos- it was a testament to their strength and life.

As a self-proclaimed Mr. Notre Dame, Gagnon should be ashamed to use 'Nazi' in such a flippant way. Words like Nazi have real meaning- there is nothing remotely amusing to endearing about such words.

1:20 PM  
Blogger OC Domer said...

Nobody here is defending drunk and unruly behavior. But some involved in this debate are equating "drinking a couple of beers" with "being obnoxiously drunk." Nobody should be allowed, by virtue of their intoxication, to ruin the gameday experience of those around them. But by the same token, if folks are having a little beer or wine before the game and ARE NOT making a public nuisance of themselves they should be left alone.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Paul P said...

Anonymous 11:51am,

"I don't get drunk nor do i try to get into a pissing match with anyone."

If you've been following the posts on this topic, you'd know that there are now at least three reports of people who have not had a sip of alcohol or mouthed-off being treated very poorly:

1) A disabled veteran being aggressively handled by a police officer during a bout of vertigo.

2) A graduate student who had not had a drink waiting in the stadium holding cell for hours until he could finally blow a 0.0. And then being threatened with expulsion when he asked for the name of the usher who falsely accused him of intoxication.

3) An underage student at a tailgater who passed an older student a beer from the cooler being hauled off to the city jail for "possession," even though he blew a 0.0.

That doesn't even get into the issues of extreme violence by ND security and the police against those who have not broken the law but merely verbally objected to the treatment of others:

1) A man tackled on the pavement and dragged out of sight to the stadium holding cell so he could be physically roughed-up by ND security. His only “wrongdoing” was objecting to security aggressively herding people into the stadium before kickoff.

2) In a scene straight out of the Civil War, a horse used as a weapon to literally run over another man who made a disparaging remark about the mounted (pseudo) police.

Finally, I’ve seen at least three posts accusing ND security or South Bend police lying on their reports:

1) Underage students being ticketed for possession of alcohol when in fact they were holding bottles or cups of pop.

2) A student detained at a party being described in the report as “passed out with his pants around his ankles” when he was in no such condition.

3) A student who was not drinking being charged with “aggressively responding to a police officer” when he politely asked on what grounds he was being forced to take a sobriety test.

If you approve of this garbage, you're the one who looks ridiculous.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:45 AM (i.e.-the whiney usher):

Please spare us. Never mind the innocent victems who have been bullied, ARRESTED, assaulted, BATTERED, treated like criminals, excluded for life from the stadium, etc.--all without justification.

Let's just feel sorry for the poor ushers who might be scrutinzed a little more closely, as a result of the extraordinary excesses taken by your associates, and reported here over the last few days, right?


2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point of Interest:

TAKE DOWN THE BADGE NUMBERS AND NAMES OF THE POLICE OFFICERS patrolling your area--do this proactively, BEFORE you have any issues with them (in addition to the cameras, camcorders, etc).

This is crucial--it will be necessary for identification for any subsequent reports of misconduct, so that their files may be appropriately documented. It will become especially helpful, should any legal actions ensue.

If you wait until they're dragging you to the meatwagon, it will be obvious why you're getting the info, and that will make you even more vulnerable.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Jimmylawyer said...

As a lawyer who started out in insurance defense, and still practices a little in that area, I certainly appreciate the concerns the University has - or thinks it has - to protect the physical welfare of every individual on campus - and those on surrounding roads - on game day.
That being said, I think the University has gone beyond the steps it needs to take in order to insulate itself from criminal and civil liability. It seems as though the University is so concerned it will find itself even NAMED in a defensible lawsuit, that it is willing to kill the Notre Dame football product itself. The University is a large entity. Football games draw an enormous crowd. Even with safeguards in place, a few idiots do misbehave by breaking community standards, and yes, even civil and criminal laws. The University needs to demonstrate that it has procedures in place, to be executed by well-trained personnell, in order to diffuse threats that any idiots pose to themselves and other people. The University does not need to demonstrate that it can prevent ALL instances of potentially offensive or harmful behavior - which would be impossible anyway.
In advising a business or entertainment venue concerned about personal injury suits and other liability, I would urge them to put in place those reasonable safeguards dictated by the law, common sense, and concern for others. And stop there. Just as a grocery store wouldn't pad the floor of every aisle, there is no need for an usher to stare at a fan yelling on a third-down play. Or any need for more than several NDSP/SDPD officers at a time to repeatedly reconnoiter a section of parking lot.
Like it or not, many fans now wait for the other shoe to drop every time they have a drink. The University must recognize that perception, and deal with it. Deservedly or not, if all of us have this perception of the University, every time a police officer or usher acts -- or even seems to act -- a little over the top, it just reinforces that perception. And every drunk fan who vomits on several other people before being led to the drunk tank reinforces the perception by the University that we are a public in need of constant supervision.
So please, for the rest of this season, let's self-police as best as we can, so we can show that there are too many people being escorted from the stadium, watched constantly by police or ushers, etc. Just one drunk idiot this year might justify tactics or procedures that make even more of us miserable in the future.
And finally, don't forget to keep writing letters to those in charge, letting them know of any instances of over-the-top behavior by those who should be enforcing civil, criminal, and safety standards.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you who think Cappy Gagnon is such an honest and loyal ND supporter, think again. In his posted email, he refers to Willingham sneaking out to play golf. The truth is, and now common knowledge, that Cappy sneaks out almost daily for half a day to play Bridge at the South Bend Bridge Club Off campus. He doesn't mind getting paid to play cards instead of being at work. You can look up his frequent attendance at the South Bend Bridge Club site on the internet. The donations of the alums pay for this!! I won't give ND another dime while Mr. Notre Dame, as he calls himself, plays cards while on the clock!

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"...Just one drunk idiot this year might justify tactics or procedures that make even more of us miserable in the future..."

How might one or two civil rights violations lawsuits impact the "tactics & procedures" employed in the future? (I believe I've identified at least two potential CRV-COA's in these posts).

Perhaps ND Admin. could benefit from some gratuitious legal counsel along those lines.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Jimmylawyer said...

Okay, perhaps the closing of my post above should have gone more like this:
I agree that the actions of the police and ushers have been out of line. If the various police and ushers are going to keep doing all these things we've heard about (and you and I have personally experienced too), then let's make sure that everyone given a breathalyzer blows something reasonable, and that everyone who trips does so because, drinking or not, they probably would have tripped anyway.
By way of example, I was at the ND-PSU game where a clearly underage freshman (self-identified) wrapped in an Irish flag cape got drunk out of his mind, and proceeded to stumble around and urinate in public. Let's just not give the authorities any good excuses to point fingers at the responsible majority. I wouldn't have had any problem with the student in that case being questioned by police and taken to the hospital. I do have a problem with all of these situations that have precipitated this discussion. So let's try to help each other behave so the University has no choice but to see that it's getting a little ridiculous. One stumbling, urinating, underage Irish flag-wearing boy might overshadow ten thousand responsible drinkers.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some positive news... It seems as if Nyshier Oliver has committed to Notre Dame today.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're only solution appears to be-along the lines of "can't we all just get along"-let's all just be nice, behave ourselves ("let's make sure that everyone given a breathalyzer blows something reasonable"), and bury our heads in the sand. The problem will just "poof" disappear, all by its lonesome, right?

In other words, the FANS must improve their behavior--not the security personnel.

So, what of the cops, security offices and ushers that abuse (and obviously have abused) their police/quasi-police powers to harass innocent fans? falsely arrest them? mis-treat and/or abuse innocent fans? assault and/or batter innocent fans? coerce them into signing exclusionary documents, thereby being banned from the stadium they love for life, just because some bullies felt like it? Just let them continue to bully fans with impunity, huh?

Probably not much of a litigator there, are you Jimmy boy? Maybe you should stick to drafting contracts.

Then again, maybe you are counsel for the security personnel, and are seeking to dissuade any of the prior victems from seeking legal counsel (lest they should cause third party scrutiny to be brought upon your clients).

Either way, I'd say a second opinion is clearly warranted here.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I read your column, I heard from a couple sources about how the ND and SB cops are handling the students, alumni, and fans at ND games. I wrote an immediate letter to Fr. Jenkins. I only wish he would address the Vagina show each year as much as he is addressing this one.

Recognize one thing. The lower level officials and managers are only taking orders from the top. I believe everyone who is as upset as I am about these gestapo tactics should email, fax, or write Fr. Jenkins and tell him so.

Greg Weismantel
Class of '62

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all honesty, someone should not threat the University with a mere $1500 check. Maybe if he or she added a few more "zero's" on, administrators might begin to look into the situation. I agree that NDSP and the SBPD have gone crazy, but maybe if we directed our disagreements at the Mayor of South Bend, for instance, the voices of Domers might be heard. South Bend has more crime than many other cities, and it is there that the police should be concerned about.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

attending a Notre Dame game should not be the same as attending church. We as fans love our team, and would sometimes prefer to stand up on 3rd down and scream at the top of our lungs. or cheer our hearts out for the team we've loved for so long. Please don't persecute me for supporting my team, or remove me for seeming to be "drunk" there's a difference between having a few drinks and getting shwasted before the game. please recognize that difference.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg Weismantel:

Not sure I followed the Vagina Monologues comparison--did Fr. J. reply to you about this matter, but not about VM? If so, what did he say?

(His stance on VM is clear--he replied to me very promptly when I complained of the VM).

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it behooves the University to take this situation as a very serious matter and nip it at the bud before it gets worse. Kirk and Gagnon do not appear to be part of the solution, to me they appear to be the problem or a big part of the problem. Innocent people are being affected and many of them are the Ushers. I cannot vouch for all the Ushers at the stadium but I can say that I've always been treated courteously; however, I never suspected that I might a suspect that is being watched. Now I am not sure if I or my wife or daughter (ND grad) could mistakenly be detained by an over zealous Usher or ND cop. What a mess this is turning into. I think a roundtable comprised of Administration, Alumni and students needs to be formed to address the issues responsible for what many are complaining about and find a mutual ground for a remedy.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter you included as an example was much too long. Put yourself in the position of the readers of these letters -- they are busy people and if you don't get to the point immediately, they will toss it aside and move on the next one in the pile. Those who want their letters to have an impact should stick to the facts -- your connection to ND, what you witnessed at a game (or, better yet, what happened to YOU at a game), and how much money you are NOT going to donate in the future as a result of your experience.
This can be done in 3 or 4 paragraphs rather than 11.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have met Cappy and know one of his classmates from ND. I think that the people on ND Nation have gone off the deepend on this topic. I have been to about 50 ND games including 2 this year and I had no problem at my tailgate. We drank beer all afternoon and walked in the stadium and behaved ourselves. If you act like an idiot expect someone to call you on it. Rock's House is turning into moveon.org, nothing more than a political forum to bitch about everything.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...

I think things are getting a bit mixed here.

Having a drink or drinks before the game: legal

Public intoxication before, during or after the game: illegal

Minors consuming alcohol: illegal (and not very smart when done in public view)

As a matter of policy, the University is only attempting to restrict illegal behavior.

The only people with legitimate rights to complain are those who had not done anything illegal who were harrassed by overzealous ushers, security or police, and they should seek legal redress for their grievances.

Others who did something illegal and were fingered for it may have been singled out, but they are still responsible for their choices.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


An alum sober enough to drive should not be too drunk to watch a football game.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...


If he didn't blow .01 (or whatever the legal limit is in Indiana these days), then you are right, and he would fall in the category of those who were unjustly harrassed for legal behavior.

If he did blow at an illegal level, then it's a different story.

Legal, responsible consumption of alcohol and responsible behavior on campus and at the stadium reduces dramatically the possibility of harrassment. It may not eliminate it entirely, as the examples we have read in these articles and comments demonstrate, but it certainly reduces the chances.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kris '93:

I see you're in JimmyLawyer's camp:
FANS must change THEIR behavior; not the security personnel.

So I'll pose the same question to you:

What of the cops, security offices and ushers that abuse (and obviously have abused) their police/quasi-police powers to harass innocent fans? falsely arrest them? mis-treat and/or abuse innocent fans? assault and/or batter innocent fans? coerce them into signing exclusionary documents, thereby being banned from the stadium they love for life, just because some bullies felt like it?

Just let them continue to bully fans with impunity?

Are you suggesting that if we all just hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and pray together, the cops will spontaneously stop bustin' people's chops? Just because--oh, I don't know--they'll be made to feel like it? Hypnotized by the beautiful harmonies of the siging? Moved by the Holy Spirit??

Help me out here, cause I'm having a hard time understanding.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can say, having had to deal with someone who has abused his power (maricopa county, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio) more than anyone in history, minus Hitler and Stalin, that this just disturbes me. I have been an ND fan my whole life, even earning the nickname Rudy in high school for my deep admiration and loyalty to ND..I dont have the same nickname, but i can still name every player on the team each year..Having never attended i cant speak to campus life. However, to read and even see pictures of whats happening has appalled me to the point that i have cancelled my plans to attend my first game in South Bend (i live in AZ, obviously, and have made it to both Fiesta Bowl games) because of this fascism that seems to be brewing by the authorities. I sincerely hope that these matters are tended to before too many become offended, and the atmosphere that makes ND so special is ruined.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous ndspa said...

This looks like a good letter to send if you don't want your kid to get into ND. Let's all just grow up and relax. This too shall pass.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

C'mon guys if you haven't been there don't rant. If you haven't to Baton Rouge,Tallahasee, or Jackonsonville you do not know how nasty this can get. Having been at the best Italian tailgate at ND for the past many years I say the youngsters are acting like a bunch of rednecks...period. I tailgate with 6 grandchildren from Granger.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been an usher at Notre Dame for over 30 years. I have seen what the atmosphere was like at ND when drinking was allowed. I have also seen what it is now since drinking has been outlawed. There has definitely been a change for the better. There are not as many rude spectators and not as many fights. The visitors from the other teams come to me thank me for a great day at ND. We are here to to serve the guests and to protect them so they will continue to have a wonderful experience at Notre Dame.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...

5:53 Anon,

You aren't reading me correctly.

When security, ushers or police take someone into custody or in some way censure someone who has not broken the law, they should be held accountable.

When they do so to someone who has broken the law, they are merely doing their job.

You don't have a constitutional right to public intoxication, minor consumption, or creating a public nuisance, even at a football game.

When security, police and ushers exceed their authority, they should be held accountable for their actions, just like someone who is drunk and creates a disturbance should be held accountable.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...

Here was my point, reiterated for you to see:

The only people with legitimate rights to complain are those who had not done anything illegal who were harrassed by overzealous ushers, security or police, and they should seek legal redress for their grievances.

Does that help you understand my point?

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

however, Kris '93, the cops should not have the privilege of arresting you, keeping you from using a restroom--and making you piss your pants (TRUE STORY), beating you in jail, kneeing you in the back and using FORCEFUL arrest, and quite frankly, why is the University spending extra $$ to bring in the SBPD to arrest their own fans, alumni, and students. yes, underage drinking is wrong, but when I want to walk home to my house 2 blocks from ND at night after attending mass 30 minutes after the game, I'm scared shitless that someone is going to mug me (its happened to my friends, and my friends' friends, and i don't want to be next), b/c the SBPD are not there monitoring the streets of their city.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...

Anon 9:47,

I don't think I or anyone else thinks the police SHOULD be able to do those things.

But the fact that some are arrested for illegal behavior, while other, even more serious illegal behavior isn't caught, doesn't matter to me. It's the idea of tu quoque, and it's a logical fallacy. If I break the law and am caught, it's on me, even if others who did the same thing weren't caught, or others who did worse weren't caught. Legal justice is meant to be absolute, not relative.

If you or others approach the university about increasing patrols near campus, cracking down on muggings, etc., I think you will find a receptive audience. The university can and will influence the police, the city, and the county, especially on game weekends where so much revenue comes into town, to protect its students, alumni and fans.

OTOH, if you want them to turn a blind eye to illegal behavior, you are deceiving yourself. Binge drinking has been a problem at Notre Dame, and I'm not surprised the university is cracking down, not for reputation, but out of a sense of responsibility for the safety of the students, alumni and fans.

Fact is, the idea of having police either bust students and alumni for drinking or stop violent crime is a false dichotomy, comparable to the idea that any cop directing traffic out of the stadium is one less preventing murder. There's no reason why the local, county and state police can both enforce the law at Notre Dame and in the rest of South Bend.

On any given football Saturday, the largest concentration of population and alcohol in St. Joseph county is near ND Stadium. It should be no surprise that they focus staffing there.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Paul P said...

For those of you anxious to defend your friend Gagnon, ask him to provide the ND BoardOps with the following information:

1) The name and identification number of the police officer who manhandled the disabled veteran.

2) The name and identification number of the police officer who refused to charge the Michigan fan who beat up a female ND fan.

3) The names and identification numbers of every South Bend and ND security person who was present at the beating of the fan who objected to being herded into the stadium.

If he's really an honorable guy, he won't hesitate to do this. We're all waiting.

Paul P.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather ironic that "hard guys" who normally would mock civil libertarians for complaining about their civil rights being trampled now coalesce on ndnation to whine about "crackdowns" at football games.

Goodness gracious, bring in the UN Blue Helmets, we have human rights abuses in the Bend.

Stop drinking to excess in the am;

Stop attaching the few legitimate complaints(2%) to the mass of nonsense in the parking lot (98%);

Stop proliferating the false notion that our campus is riddled with drunks; and

give me a break, but pray for all of us.

- treble domer (sorin college)

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Duane Webster "86 said...

Has anyone but me even bothered to call the university and ask about the situation? I called the Alumni Office today as well as Cappy Gannon's office during my lunch break. I called Cappy first and as expected got his voice mail. I identified myself as an alum with my name, class year and my cel number and left a message. The message was basically that we, (collectively as a family) Notre Dame messed up by treating this disabled war vet this way. I said that the Notre Dame that I graduated from would have done the right thing and made it up to the guy by giving him tickets on the 50 yard line to an upcoming game and putting him up in the Morrissey Inn and apologized profusely with some mojor butt kissing. I even volunteered my tickets from an upcoming lottery to give to the guy if necessary. I was taught God, Country, Notre Dame and feel badly for the way the vet was treated. Next I called the Alumni Office,and while I was on the phone with them I got an incoming call which I ignored. I checked the caller ID and saw it was a South Bend area code (I'm in NYC) and was wondering who had called me. To my surprise the call came through again so I hung up with the Alumni Office and took the call.

It was Cappy Gannon! Not 5 minutes after I left the voice mail he took the time to call me back, not only that, he called again when I did not answer the first time! I am no big time donor, I am a run of the mill alum, nothing special. I still win upper tier and end zone seats in the lottery. Cappy and I had a pleasant conversation for about 10 minutes.

Here are the major things that we discussed:

1) no one has been expelled from the stadium for simply doing push ups after a score. The ushers are pretty much legally obligated to come over and warn people to stop thanks to some litigious fan who sued ND for being negligent because their ushers stood by and did nothing while their child engaged in this "dangerous" activity and fell and was injured. (he did warn that if the ushers were to find you were drunk when they gave you the warning then expulsion was likely)

2) No one is banned for life without a chance to defend themselves. He told me that in the last 14 years about 6000 people have been ejected. That works out to about 60 or 70 per gasme out of 80,000 fans per game. He said that on average about 10 cases are reversed, it averaged out to about 2 to 3 times THE USHERS WERE JUST WRONG, 7-8 TIMES IT WAS A GRAY AREA AND COULD BE INTERRPRETED EITHER WAY AND THE PLAINTIFF IS GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. WHEN ND RULES THAT THEY ARE WRONG THEY MAKE IT UP TO THE PARTY WITH TICKETS TO ANOTHER GAME (GOOD SEATS), PLUS THEY GET THEM TO THE FIELD BEFORE OR AFTER THE GAME TO MEET PEOPLE. At one time Cappy had publicized his home number so that people who had been ejected could speak to him personally, but all he ended up getting was threats and insults.

3) HERE'S THE KICKER. HE SAID THAT THE DISABLED VET STORY IS NOT TRUE. HE ASKED IF I NOTICED THAT IT HAD BEEN POSTED ANONYMOUSLY. He said that the incident NEVER happened. If it had he would have done the right thing and made it up to the guy. He brought up a fair number of points. If you were a cop and someone puked on you at a game you would probably assume they were drunk. How likely is it that a cop is going to let an usher tell him what to do? Why doesn't the "vet" tell his name, or at least what game and what year? Why didn't the "vet" speak to Cappy? If this is more than an anecdote to arouse the ire of the alums then let the "vet" identify himself instead of hiding in anonymity. Cappy's exact words to me were "it never happened". If you are telling the truth Mr. "disabled vet" then I encourage you to contact the stadium security office and speak with Cappy, if the situation really did take place you were incredibly wronged and Notre Dame would like to make it up to you.

A couple final thoughts from Cappy: Decroum goes a long way. If you are approached by an usher be respectful. Act like a Domer not a Dimwit (my words not Cappy's) If you gOt pulled over by a cop while driving you wouldn't curse, shout and try to intimidate the cop (unless you like recieving summonses and having your vehicle impunded) you would probably be courteous and respectful and maybe even slightly remorseful, the same applies here. The ushers have the authority to remove and ban you, but will usually settle for just a warning.

ND has made no secret about its zero tolerance policy for the stadium. If you are stupid enough to act like a drunken jerk then you deserve to get expelled, if you are just there to enjoy the game and support the Irish then you won't have any problems.

Cappy's a Domer (clas of '66) and he is a conscientous and approachable guy. I've never met the man before today and like I said I am no hot shot big time alum and the guy took the time to call me back twice, and within 5 minutes of my voice message. He didn't just brush me off and he actually had a friendly 10 minute discussion with me about ND



2:10 AM  
Anonymous IrishApache said...

For the record IndianaIrish is not anonymous. You can read two of his excellent essays in the ND Nation Posting Hall of Fame. His identity is no mystery- his local paper actually ran a story about him. If you do a little internet legwork, you could probably come up with his name. Also, from his last post, it seems that the University has "reached out" to him in order to make amends. This is not consistent with the comments you posted from Mr. Gannon.

2:41 AM  
Anonymous Duane Webster said...

I only posted what Cappy said to me during the phone call. I can not attest to the veracity of either party. All I can reiterate is that Cappy's exact words to me were "it never happened".

The post by rock that I read did not attribute it to anyone, but was presented anecdotally. As I said before, if this really happend then we f***d up big time. And I would like to apoloize and say that the ND that I attended never treated vets, especailly disabled ones in this horrendous fashion. People that served and sacrificed for this country are deserving of the utmost respect and apreciation. Indianairish you deserved better.

3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Duane, you did a lot more than that. It's obvious that you were pretty star-struck after speaking to "Mr. Notre Dame." Wow, I mean, who wouldn't be? The additional information about Cappy's thought processes is nonetheless appreciated.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, Duane. You're now Cappy's shill.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duane, Cappy lies.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You posted that Cappy said that the story simply didn't happen. You also posted that he brought up the following points:

"If you were a cop and someone puked on you at a game you would probably assume they were drunk. How likely is it that a cop is going to let an usher tell him what to do?"

If the story didn't happen, then why does Cappy need to defend actions that occurred in a fictitious story?

9:22 AM  
Blogger Jack's Blog said...


You probably should publicly apologize to Indiana Irish on the board. You just called him a liar. I know you are saying that you are just repeating what Cappy told you, but you moral of the story summary at the end flat out said that the Disabled Vet story did not happen. You probably did not mean it that way, but that is the way it came off. In light of the fact that the University has already contacted him to try to make things right, I cannot imagine that you can now have any doubt regarding the veracity of the story.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kris '93:

Aren't you relying on same logical fallacy (tu quoque)?

1. The fact that so few are innocent, any mistreatment of the wrongly arrested is justified by the many times in which arrest is justified.

2. The fact that most are justifiably arrested, justifies whatever mistreatment they are exposed to, when they are guilty as charged (afterall, it's on them, right?);

Yeah, I know; you said "the security, ushers or police [who] take someone into custody who has not broken the lawy should be held accountable"--but how, if you're only solution is for the FANS to amend their behavior?

So no, I'm don't believe I am reading you wrongly; I think you're coming through loud and clear.

I just think you're in denial
that there is a problem.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cappy doesn't lie--he said so himself!

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...

Anon 10am,

I'm not in denial. Let me make things clear:

a. Harrassment of any kind is wrong and should be addressed, whether done to a person who broke the law or to a person who did not break the law. This would include any form of brutality where someone wasn't resisting arrest, and arresting, detaining or confiscating tickets of those who have neither broken the law nor university policies.

b. A person who is lawfully arrested, detained, charged or has his tickets confiscated for violation of law or university policy has himself to blame.

The solution for those who exceed their authority is the same as it is any other time. Get their names, their badge numbers, make formal complaints to the police and the university and bring a suit if the injuries warrant. Talk to city council. Talk to the mayor.

But, you have to acknowledge that if people didn't abuse alcohol or create public nuisances or disturbances, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Everyone needs to be responsible. Everyone needs to use common sense.

Putting all the onus on the university and police to change is just as wrong-headed as putting it all on students, fans and alumni. My point is that both need to do their part.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"But, you have to acknowledge that if people didn't abuse alcohol or create public nuisances or disturbances, we wouldn't be having this discussion."

Really? No other fans abuse alcohol, create public nuissances/disturbances, etc.?

Cause I don't hear any other collges "having this discussion".

Get it?

It's not the abuse of alcohol that's fueling this discussion-it's the abuse of FANS.

Ergo addressing FAN behavior does NOT address the issue--it merely avoids it.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...

Anon 11:14,

C'mon. There are alcohol related busts everywhere. I've been to games at Big Ten schools, and I've been involved with sponsorships at SEC sporting events, and there are police/security policing tailgate areas there as well. There are arrests there as well. People bitch and moan about both facts there as well.

IU, Purdue, ISU, Ball State and other Indiana schools all complain about excise. There's nothing unique about Notre Dame here. It's a state organization enforcing state law.

If it's that important to you to be able to get drunk without fear of repercussion, go somewhere else and give it a shot, but I think you will find the grass isn't greener. ND is clear that as a matter of policy it expects students and fans to follow Indiana law on alcohol consumption. It was that way when I attended, and it is that way now. It should come as no surprise that they are following through on it.

We are talking about drinking here, not civil rights. The opinions of some on this thread try to make excise police enforcement of minor consumption equal to lack of habeus corpus or illegal search and seizure.

You don't have a constitutional right to break laws about alcohol without being held accountable, even if according to some the level of scrutiny is higher at Notre Dame than other places--a point asserted but not proven.

It is only abuse of fans when either excessive tactics are used or if innocent fans are busted. It is enforcement of the law when someone who breaks the law is held accountable for it.

If you disagree, please explain why it is unjust for the law to be enforced on someone who breaks it. How is it abuse for someone who has broken the law to be arrested, unless excessive force or another abuse of authority is present?

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"It is only abuse of fans when either excessive tactics are used or if innocent fans are busted..."

Correct--so we are talking about abuse of fans.

Second part of your post:

"...It is enforcement of the law when someone who breaks the law is held accountable for it."

As for the second part of your quote, you seem only inclined to have fans who imbide in a couple of beverages held accountable, but the cops, ushers etc. who abuse fans--they're just doing their jobs (until prove otherwise, right?).

Why the double standard???

Why do the security personnel enjoy a presumption of innocence,
while the fans must prove theirs, and negotiate a presumption of guilt?

Still don't get it, do you? We ARE talking constitutional and civil rights issues--not just partying and drinking alcohol (civil rights matters aren't always wrapped in the sex appeal of a big bad corporation squashing the perfectly innocent single mom heroine--sometimes the vic's aren't perfect).

No worries. One day you'll find yourself on the wrong side of a bully with a badge, and it'll all become crystal clear to you. Too bad it won't, until that happens, though.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...


"As for the second part of your quote, you seem only inclined to have fans who imbide in a couple of beverages held accountable, but the cops, ushers etc. who abuse fans--they're just doing their jobs (until prove otherwise, right?)."

Are you not reading my posts?

First. Having a couple of beers is different from being intoxicated or creating a public nuisance/disturbance. Stop trying to blur those lines.

Second. I have said more than once that it is wrong for ushers/police/security to exceed their authority, to harrass, to abuse fans.

"We ARE talking constitutional and civil rights issues--not just partying and drinking alcohol (civil rights matters aren't always wrapped in the sex appeal of a big bad corporation squashing the perfectly innocent single mom heroine--sometimes the vic's aren't perfect)."

We are talking about civil rights issues when there are issues of police brutality, search without probable cause, etc. We aren't talking about civil rights issues when someone who breaks the law is held accountable for it.

"No worries. One day you'll find yourself on the wrong side of a bully with a badge, and it'll all become crystal clear to you. Too bad it won't, until that happens, though."

Let's play this out a couple of ways.

If I am drunk, and a cop/usher notices this, removes me from my seat, gives me a breathalyzer, finds I am intoxicated, locks me up, etc., all by the book, in accordance with law and university policy and without inappropriate use of force, it is not an injustice. It is simply my taking a decision to break the law or policy, and those required to enforce it holding me accountable. That's part of being an adult, Anonymous, being accountable for one's decisions.

If I am drunk, yet comply with all instructions without verbal or physical indications of resisting arrest, and an officer uses unnecessary means to subdue or detain me, I will make all the appropriate complaints, legal and otherwise, to the appropriate folks. But, even outside of a situation at Notre Dame Stadium, I need to be aware that the fact that I was intoxicated makes me a less credible plaintiff.

If I don't blow above the legal limit, and am treated as if I were without cause, and subject to all the same abuse, there is no question I would use every legal means in my power to have redress of my grievances. This is likely the best situation for me to get satisfaction, because I am totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

I don't know if I can make it any clearer to you. If you want to have permission to break the law and get away with it, fine, but you won't get it from me. If you want to stop having such strong efforts to curb binge drinking and inappropriate behavior at tailgates and the game, be part of the solution, instead of perpetuating the problem that these tactics are designed to find and restrict.


Police, ushers, security, etc. need to be held accountable when they exceed their authority or abuse their power.

Students, alumni and fans need to be held accountable when they violate the law or university policy when on university property.

Both. Not one or the other.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ND has changed drastically, some ways for the better, but in many ways for the worse. The transition has been a gradual one over many years. Today, I find it run more like a major corporation than a catholic university and supporting community. They still pay lip service to "The Notre Dame Tradition and spirit," but the words are preserved only as a means of capitalizing on the emotions of alumni. Money seems to be in the forefront of many of the university's decisions. Solitations from alumni and friends, merchandising, marketing the name, TV contracts etc. and their standing or rating as a university seem to be more important to the university than it has ever been in its history.
I find it quite disappointing.

class of '75

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kris '93:

The problem isn't me not reading your posts--it is apparently your failure to read the posts in the preceding thread describing the incidents of abuse. In most of the incidents described, the arrestee was NOT intoxicated; most described use of force beyond the call of the occasion.

You keep saying "Police, ushers, security, etc. need to be held accountable when they exceed their authority or abuse their power", yet and in the very next breath, basically deny that they HAVE.

The abuses which HAVE occured are what's prompting so many posts. NOT because people want to change the law, or have it conveniently enforced only against the real bad guys--but because they genuinely feel that the security personnel overreacted, or proactively acted in a manner which wasn't warranted.

Finally, you wrote: "If I am drunk, and a cop/usher...finds I am intoxicated, locks me up, etc., all by the book...it is not an injustice. It is simply my taking a decision to break the law or policy, and those required to enforce it holding me accountable."

That is a rather convenient and self-serving re-characterization of this discussion. Your presumption always hinges on the "plaintiff" (your words) being intoxicated, and the security personnel acting appropriately.
That's not what's being discussed here at all. If it were, there would be no discussion.

So kudos to you, for your so very passionate, eloquent and original call to responsibility!

That should certainly shut up all those people clamoring for the right to drink themselves stupid at FB games! Because, that is afterall, exactly and exclusively what's behind these threads, right?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Kris '93 said...


On at least three occasions I have agreed that those who exceed their authority are wrong and should be punished, and the anecdotes on these threads indicate that this has happened. I would like to think that those who were victimized are seeking redress in ways other than simply posting on NDNation, and it looks like many are.

That's a very good thing.

I note that you only bring up one of three hypotheticals I wrote. Selective reading, I see. In one of them, where I, like the anecdotes, am completely innocent, and I would use every legal means at my disposal to hold those accountable who "abused" their powers, or abused me.

In another, I would attempt to do so, but I must realistically acknowledge that the word of one arrested (legitimately) for intoxication may lack credibility when that person accuses police of overstepping their bounds, unless he has witnesses.. That's neither fair nor unfair. It's simply reality.

In the third (the one you mention), I am treated in accordance with my behavior and with an appropriate use of police power.

The only one you mention is the one where police don't overstep their bounds. Nice use of a strawman to make it seem that this is my entire point, when it isn't.

"Your presumption always hinges on the "plaintiff" (your words) being intoxicated, and the security personnel acting appropriately."

My arguments hinge on intoxication because these folks are expected/required to take actions against intoxication. Whether one is arrested justly or not hinges on whether that person actually broke the law.

Under all circumstances, the use of excessive force or means of detention may be unjust.

I think we all agree on that. But in our desire for police and others to use their powers appropriately and justly, let's not overcorrect the other direction and have abuse of power.

People who are drunk and who create public disturbances should be subject to disciplinary action, but only with legitimate means.

Answer a simple yes/no question, Anonymous. Do you, or do you not, think those who drink underage or become intoxicated can be legitimately arrested?

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

Anyone know where I can find a bar open in the morning? Thanks

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kris '93:

In answer to your "yes/no" question, I'll answer "yes".

Now, if you can make anything of that...well, let's just say that what ever you make of it, must be the product of selective reading.

Been fun.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family and I had a pretty big tailgate this weekend (ND vs. Stanford). We were set up in the Stadium Lot, an officer game to thsoe of us not going into the gamne, shortly after kick off, and simply asked us to pout our beers into cups. He said we are more than welcome to stay out and watch the game. He was very polite and welcoming. Later during the game a group of about 15-20 officers, stopped by, ticket books in hand, just to get a score update. They were very friendly, and once again welcoming.

7:13 AM  
Blogger wsmitheGH said...

Cappy is the man!

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2:26 PM  

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