Universities Policy Shift and Why It Is Bad Timing For Notre Dame

Andrew MasonCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2010

Notre Dames tribute to Declan
Notre Dames tribute to DeclanJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Colleges all around are cracking down (finally) on violations as seen with UNC, Florida, Georgia, UConn, Tennessee and USC—with Iowa just reporting that basketball recruits met with Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

This is not Presidents stepping up finally on their runaway athletic programs violating NCAA rules left and right, intentionally or not.

This is all about responsibility and making sure that their university has no culpability in the matter.

Which is why Declan Sullivan's death is going to be even worse for Notre Dame.

Obviously when anyone dies, it is a sad time and everyone needs to grieve and finding out blame and getting angry is the wrong thing to do immediately after.  Particularly in the case of a student death, people are going to be upset and angry at the lack of oversight of the school.

Which comes back to Declan.  Clearly Notre Dame cannot say that it was his fault that he was up there. But rather it was all Notre Dame personnel that were at the practice with possible exception to the players. The staff at the practice should be aware of the risks of having a person on a scissor lift with heavy winds.

Obviously this will lead to changes but so far this year, there have already been widespread reform everywhere.

Throughout schools everywhere, there have been new changes to the Athletic Department's mode of operations regarding player conduct. 

As some people do not know, most schools used to allow the coaches to make the decision whether to suspend or bench a player following an incident such as being arrested by police, or given a ticket alcohol-related, etc. 

Now though,it is the athletic director's decision.

But for further instances that are not even athletic based see Four Loko.  

For those of you who do not know what Four Loko is, it is a 24 Oz. can with 12 percent alcohol volume mixed with caffeine, taurine, and all those other energy additives.  Basically, take malt alcohol and mix it with Red Bull and put in some tasty flavoring such as watermelon and you got a great drink that can make even the biggest people intoxicated beyond belief.  And it is priced at $3 a can as compared to $15 or more for a case of beer.

After an incident at Central Washington University where eight people, seven of them being girls, got sick which was then revealed to be because of Four Loko.  Campuses across the States are banning these drinks or trying to ban them. 

Four Loko and other similar products have been out for several years but only now are colleges looking into them.  Why?  Like any other thing, one bad happened and now colleges are reacting to it.  Colleges need to be able to say to parents, we banned them so it is your child's choice/fault if they choose to obey do not come yelling at us.

There have also been incidents involving students and police and instead of parents being angry at the kid and making them accept the punishment, they are calling the school and trying to figure out a way the student can get out of the ticket.

Campus Security officers are also cracking down more than ever.  For instance, it is now illegal for an underage person to be with a person who is over the age of 21 if the of age person is drinking.  Instead of just making the person leave or getting rid of the beer, officers are now writing up kids and they have to go meet with the dean and attend meetings about alcohol even if the underage person was not drinking.

Although all three incidents mainly involving alcohol while Declan's death was a lack of responsibility on several people.  They can be traced back to schools wanting to show they have control of the student body and show parents that it is a safe campus. 

Notre Dame has just indicated to parents and students everywhere that they still are struggling to maintain the latter part of that statement.  But I can guarantee that campuses everywhere will make a whole new set of rules about player and personnel safety.