Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was sporting a black eye behind the tinted visor he wore to practice yesterday.
According to a university official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Clausen was punched outside a South Bend bar early Sunday morning.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Clausen was the “victim of a sucker punch.’’
“He was not engaged in a fight. He didn’t throw any punches. He didn’t directly engage the individual,’’ Swarbrick said. “He just got coldcocked by somebody, and we’re very disturbed by that.’’
According to the official, Clausen was at C.J.’s Pub about 2 a.m. with his family and girlfriend after Notre Dame’s double overtime loss to Connecticut. The group decided to leave after words were exchanged with others at the bar, and as they were leaving, Clausen’s girlfriend realized she left her purse behind. Clausen went back to retrieve the purse and someone followed him outside and punched him, the official said. Clausen did not fight back and left, the official said.
South Bend Police Captain Phil Trent says police were called to the scene after receiving a report of a fight. He says police arrived within minutes and everyone was gone.
■Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis won’t stay on the West Coast to recruit as planned after the Fighting Irish play at Stanford. “He’s going to return from Stanford back to campus,’’ Swarbrick said.
Weis had said Sunday he planned to stay on the West Coast recruiting, just as he had last year when he and Swarbrick met to discuss his future after the regular-season finale at USC.
Weis wasn’t in a reflective mood at what could be the final weekly news conference at his alma mater. He set the tone with his opening comment: “I have a news flash. We have a football game this Saturday evening against Stanford, so let’s see if we can’t talk about that,’’ he said.
To make sure players and assistant coaches don’t get off point, Weis canceled all interviews for the week. So Weis will be the only voice being heard from the Irish team this week, although the school did provide reporters with quotes from players.
Jackson was arrested and charged Nov. 12 after a report of two men dressed in hooded jackets, one brandishing a gun, approaching three men at a convenience store near the Tennessee campus demanding “everything you’ve got.’’ A third man approached later, telling the other two, “We’ve got to go,’’ according to a police report.
The victims later identified Jackson’s teammates, Nu’Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards, as the two men who approached the car first. The two have since been kicked off the team and out of school, and charges against them are still pending.
“We look to him to see how he reacts, and the way he’s handled everything has been an inspiration to us,’’ said safety Darrell Stuckey.
The probe was announced a week ago after athletic director Lew Perkins met with the team without Mangino and said he would look into the allegations. No one has accused Mangino of physical abuse; the complaints center on things he allegedly said in the heat of discussion during games or practice.