May 22, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Head coach Bob Davie devised a new plan when it comes to keep tabs on the football team this summer.
“Leadership is most critical during the summer,” Davie said. “To keep this football team in tact is number one on our agenda.”
He introduced the idea of a leadership committee. It is a group of about 15 players. The committee’s main goal is to maintain strong communication with the coaching staff.
“It is not to separate us from the team,” quarterback Arnaz Battle said. “It gives us the coaches and staff a chance to listen to what the team feels and wants also.”
The majority of the football team will remain on campus for the summer session. The committee will keep a watchful eye on the entire team during the duration of summer. In fact, the leadership committee should keep everything in line until the beginning of fall practice in early August.
“The big focus this spring was policing each other,” quarterback Arnaz Battle said. “Our focus is to keep the team together and keep off the field incidents from happening.”
The Notre Dame football team is no stranger to problems. Last summer, former kicker Jim Sanson had run in with the law. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.
Sanson’s teammate Brock Williams also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of minor in possession as well as disorderly conduct. Both Sanson and Williams paid their fines as well as did their community service.
“So much of a football team’s leadership comes in the summertime,” Davie said. “All of our players are here the entire summer. At no time during the year can our coaches police the team 24 hours a day. It is impossible during the summer, especially because of the NCAA rules.”
Davie and his staff want to prevent occurrences like those from last summer from happening again. It is impossible for his staff to keep a watchful eye on the players throughout the summer. It is not impossible for other players to play big brother. The football program has enacted a new leadership committee composed of a handful of players to keep a watchful eye on the entire team.
The formation of the committee is also to aid in the selection of captains for the 2000 season. Davie believes that those who behave well in the summer and show the leadership will inherit the captain position. Captains are selected by popular vote.
Captains are usually selected at the end of spring practices. This year Davie and his staff decided to wait.
“After the summer we are going to get together and vote on who are the leaders of this football team,” Davie said. “I promise you, it won’t be a popularity contest. It is going to be the guy’s that lead this team through the summer.”