Notre Dame coach allegedly struck during game

Notre Dame coach allegedly struck during game

By Tim Martin

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State officials said Monday they are sending a video to the Big Ten Conference related to a call referees made during Saturday’s 40-37 loss to No. 12 Notre Dame.

Michigan State said the tape was made because Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said after the game that he was slapped during a sideline incident in the second quarter. The skirmish began after Notre Dame safety Chinedum Ndukwe was flagged for hitting Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton as he ran out of bounds.

Michigan State receiver Matt Trannon jumped into the fray on the Notre Dame sideline and was flagged for a personal foul.

A tape of the incident was shown to reporters at Michigan State coach John L. Smith’s weekly news conference. The video does not show Weis being struck by anyone connected with Michigan State. It does show Weis on the field yelling at officials while they sorted out the calls.

“I’m not going to contend that anybody is lying, but you take a look at the film,” Smith said.

Notre Dame senior associate athletic director John Heisler said Monday that Weis doesn’t know who slapped him.

“It might have been one of my guys that slapped me, for all I know,” Weis said in his postgame remarks Sunday.

Smith was upset with the call against Michigan State, whose players were coming over to protect Stanton, he said.

The video shows Notre Dame personnel pushing Spartans receiver Kerry Reed and then grabbing Trannon from behind to pull him away from the sidelines. Trannon rushed back into the skirmish, losing his helmet and drawing a flag from the Big Ten officiating crew.

Michigan State led 17-7 at the time of the incident.

Michigan State associate athletic director John Lewandowski said the tape was sent to the Big Ten because the Spartans believe the situation was “mismanaged.”

Notre Dame is an independent program and is not affiliated with any conference, so it’s unclear if Michigan State’s tape will have any repercussions.