Notre Dame Loses Michael Ragone, Depth After Pot Bust

Dan ScofieldAnalyst IMay 11, 2010

Just as fast as Notre Dame became known as Tight End-U, it seems those same talents walk out the door just as fast.

Brian Kelly's depth chart took it's first hit on Tuesday, after it was made public that senior tight end Michael Ragone was arrested on drug charges last Saturday.

Driving in his 2008 Dodge Charger, Ragone was pulled over for going 83 in a 70 MPH zone at 8:22 a.m. on Saturday.

Upon smelling an odor of marijuana in the car, the state trooper discovered two baggies of the drug in a 21-year old female passenger's purse. After the discovery, Ragone fessed up to the possession, and told the trooper the marijuana belonged to him.

Although Notre Dame's Residential Life has yet to rule on the case, it seems likely that Ragone will no longer be a student at the school come the fall semester, let alone a member of the football team.

In the most recent case of an Irish athlete being arrested for possession, basketball star Kyle McAlarney was asked to leave the team after being found guilty. After his suspension, and a long and grueling process, McAlarney did re-enroll into Notre Dame after a year away from the program.

Many will remember what some thought to be an unfair process in McAlarney's case. Although he was found guilty, was a year away from the team for a drug charge really the right decision?

It may seem heavy in terms of other universities, but Notre Dame holds their student athletes to a higher standard. Under Article 6 in Notre Dame's Student Handbook, one can find the outline of drug penalties:

Possession, use or misuse of any controlled substance, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and depressants, is a serious violation of University policy. Students who possess, use or misuse such substances shall be subject to disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal.

Ragone may or may not done the blue and gold ever again. That decision has yet to be made.

But for now, Kelly must realistically begin to prepare to start his first year under the helm of Notre Dame without his stud tight end.

If it weren't for All-American Kyle Rudolph sitting atop the tight end depth chart, this loss would be nearly impossible to overcome. Ragone brought a unique threat to the Irish offense, as he displayed with his six catches and 75 yards to go along with a touchdown in the spring game just a few weeks back.

And of course, as any Irish fan knows by now, any head coach at the school must deal with the grueling task of facing Res Life.

Kelly may have faced some challenges thus far into his young Irish reign, but it will be interesting to see how his relationship with Res Life compares to Charlie Weis' with the office.

Good luck, Brian. The rest are watching-including the latest ill-fated Notre Dame athlete.