October 3, 2008

Weis: Yeatman singled out

Thirty-seven arrests, one person consistently named in media reports and in the press release issued by the prosecutor's office.

That's what Charlie Weis has a problem with after junior tight end Will Yeatman's name once again appeared with no mention of any of the other 36 people arrested.

Actually, if anyone else were likely to be named, it would be another Notre Dame football player-Mike Golic Jr.-or the 21 varsity athletes named shortly after the incident.

But in a Wednesday press release issued by the prosecutor's office, only Yeatman's name was mentioned.

"I feel bad for all those kids that were involved in that, and I feel bad for my two (football players) that were involved," said Weis Thursday. "I find it peculiar that the only guy that's mentioned out of 37 guys is one, and that's Will."

Yeatman was one of three arrested with previous records on Colfax Ave. in South Bend on Sept. 21. In February, Yeatman pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and reckless driving following an incident the previous month. His sentence was deferred and Yeatman was given an opportunity to have the charge dismissed, provided that he did not commit another criminal offense during the length of the agreement.

Yeatman will be sentenced on the charge of operating while intoxicated and could serve jail time.

Weis had a problem with the press release and the information provided by Catherine Wilson, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.

The press release said three individuals did not have the option of entering into a "voluntary diversion program" because of prior arrests. But only Yeatman was named. Wilson told the South Bend Tribune that she did not know the names of the other two individuals with prior records.

"I understand that there are different degrees of follow up from where they are and I understand that there are three kids that are second-time offenders and not first-time offenders," Weis said. "I don't know all the idiosyncrasies.

"But I just find it ironic that there's only one person mentioned-the whole background of one person-and for that I feel bad."

Yeatman continues to practice with the team.

"If he were cleared of all the stuff that he had to do on a Friday, I would play him on a Saturday," Weis said. "He's practicing as if he's playing in a game.

"But as I stated right from the start, I was going to wait until this played its course. That's the way it is and when it plays it's course and he gets cleared to go, I'll put him back out there. Until that time, we're just playing a waiting game."

• Schmidt still on hold: The football fate of junior tight end Luke Schmidt doesn't appear too promising at the present time. He has been sidelined for the second straight week after Weis listed him as "out indefinitely."

Schmidt suffered a concussion on special teams in the Michigan State game and has not practiced since. He was on the sideline for the Purdue game, but was in jersey and sweatpants.

"He didn't get banged in the head very hard and got groggy, which concerns us," Weis said. "He's had concussions before, and when (it happens again) without a big hit and you don't clear up quickly, that's a concern. A hundred out of a hundred times, myself, Jim Russ and the doctors will always err on the side of safety when it comes to something related to a head (injury).

"There are certain players that seem to have repeat incidents, and that becomes a much greater concern. Concussions can happen in the game. But when they start happening with less contact, that's when it starts to become dangerous."

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