<
>

Notre Dame checks whether radio promos broke rules

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame is looking into whether
student-athletes, including football and basketball players,
violated NCAA rules with comments promoting a local sports talk
show on the CBS affiliate here.

John Heisler, Notre Dame's senior associate athletic director,
said Saturday he became aware of possible violations when contacted
Friday afternoon by a reporter for The Journal Gazette of Fort
Wayne. Heisler said the school has not seen the spots, promoting
"Sports Dogz" on WSBT-TV, so it does not know if it violates NCAA
rules.

"We're just trying to figure out what this is," he said. "I
don't know if we know for sure it's an NCAA violation."

Jennifer Kearns, associate director of public and media
relations with the NCAA, said she could not comment on specific
cases, or whether the Indianapolis-based organization was
investigating the students.

Kearns said that in past situations when a student-athlete did
not know they were breaking an NCAA rule it had been deemed as a
secondary violation.

"The NCAA is trying to get student athletes the benefit of the
doubt," Kearns said. "If they say, 'I didn't know this was
happening,' we try to work with them and do what's best for them."

Heisler said school officials would ask WSBT-TV to provide
copies of the promotions.

Last year USC quarterback Matt Leinart had his eligibility
temporarily revoked after appearing in a promotional segment on
ESPN. Leinart was reinstated after Southern California petitioned
the NCAA. The NCAA said Leinart's actions were "unintentional and
inadvertent."

Coach Charlie Weis said Saturday that the television spots by
the Notre Dame players might be different because the comments
weren't used as promotions outside of the program.

"This is something run during the show, so it's a totally
different," he said.

Weis said he is depending on Notre Dame's compliance officer to
determine whether any rules were violated.

"I'll just let them go ahead and deal with it," he said. "But
I feel it will be taken care of very quickly."