Notre Dame officials fessed up Wednesday and acknowledged that quarterback Jimmy Clausen had a "procedure" on an elbow, although they didn't say which elbow it was. The likely truth is that Clausen, the most celebrated recruit to arrive in South Bend since Ron Powlus, had surgery on his right throwing elbow, first reported by the site Log's Blog.
Thus the question: Why did Notre Dame hide the fact that Clausen had surgery?
Put yourself in the position of Notre Dame coach Crewcut Charlie Weis. Simply put, he doesn't want opponents to know that his prized quarterback is coming off surgery on his throwing elbow. After all, knowing a quarterback has an issue with his throwing arm can change an entire defensive scheme. Weis is no dummy.
You can argue that Weis is looking out for the best interest of the kid and the team, or perhaps even himself. The risk in all of this is that when you are found to be covering up an injury or a surgery, your reputation and credibility suffers.
Weis made his philosophy clear during his spring press conference on March 21, a day after a Chicago Sun-Times report quoted Clausen's dad, Jim Clausen Sr., saying his son was injured. Weis was miffed when asked about Clausen and interrupted a reporter:
Question: "You say everyone is full to go, and last time we talked, you said Clausen ..."
Weis: "He's full to go. Contrary to recent reports, he's full to go, too. By the way, just so we can clear that one up, the only one who will answer for the health of our players will be me. So next time, we can just keep it that way, because I'll do the answering for the health of our players."
So there you have it. Can you believe anything Weis says from now on?
Weis did not make Clausen available to the media during spring practice, so we have yet to hear the quarterback's side of the story.
One last note: We'd like to mention John Walters of NBC Sports.com, who did what all journalists should be doing and properly credited Log's Blog for breaking the story. As for those who didn't extend the same professional courtesy, your credibility — much like Weis' — has been tarnished.
Thanks to Image of Sport.