Notre Dame Football: If Jameis Winston Played In South Bend, What Would Happen?


Notre Dame suspended five of its football players prior to the start of the 2014 season. The allegations surrounded academic fraud involving other students on campus. Although the investigation concluded, the University has not reached a decision of what will happen to the five football players.

The University of Notre Dame takes a hardline against misconduct from its student-athletes. The Irish have dismissed numerous players in their history. Most recently, the Irish dismissed Quarterback Everett Golson and Guard Jerian Grant for academic misconduct.

When the academic scandal unfolded at Notre Dame in August, many pundits, sports fans and writers said that Notre Dame was no different than any other school and that their “holier than thou” attitude was unfounded. Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples summed up the situation with one tweet:

Understanding that Notre Dame takes a hardline against any type of misconduct, an interesting question emerges. If Jameis Winston played for the Fighting Irish and he committed the same violations in South Bend, what would happen to him?

For those who believe that Notre Dame would not have even considered the reign Heisman Trophy winner, that is simply not true. The Fighting Irish offered a scholarship out of high school. Well, Notre Dame clearly knew he would not qualify, right? Wrong. Winston was also offered by the Stanford Cardinal, a school he officially visited on January 13, 2012. If he could get into Stanford, he probably would have been eligible to enroll at Notre Dame.

So, hypothetically, if Winston showed more interest and enrolled at Notre Dame, would the administration put up with Winston’s antics?

Cynics will claim that because Winston is such a good football player he would receive a free pass from the school. However, KeiVarae Russell, considered one of the best Cornerbacks in the nation, was suspended by the University. Therefore, it is likely that Winston would have received a severe suspension or simply would be gone by now if he did the same things at Notre Dame.

Does Notre Dame mold young men or do the young men mold Notre Dame? In other words, is Notre Dame made up of players who are good on and off the field who create the atmosphere Notre Dame likes to promote? Or does Notre Dame create that atmosphere?

Based on the ridiculous length of the current investigation and hearings process, Notre Dame clearly creates an uncompromising environment where individuals either sink or swim. An individual who swims will become a well-rounded individual. But, some sink.

Jameis Winston clearly would have sank. But, Florida State gives him a life vest.