Every so often, a mass underage drinking bust at a Notre Dame party turns up a handful of Irish football players and other athletes. Sometimes those athletes have famous last names. So the Indiana State Excise Police set their sights at the top of the genetic totem pole this morning, nabbing one Nate "Yes That Montana" Montana and seven teammates among a cast of dozens:
A party in South Bend was busted by police overnight, sending 43 people to the county jail.
Among those arrested are eight Notre Dame football players, including Nate Montana, the son of football great Joe Montana and back-up QB; Lorenzo Wood, a cornerback and incoming freshman; Chris Watt, a sophomore offensive guard; Robert Toma, an incoming freshman wide receiver; Nicholas Tausch, a sophomore kicker; Ta-iler Jones, an incoming freshman wide receiver; Steven Filer, a junior outside linebacker; and Tate Nichols, an incoming freshman.
Also arrested are Tim Abromaitis, a standout junior forward on the basketball team; Eric Atkins, an incoming freshman to the basketball team; and Steven Summerhays, an incoming freshman to the hockey team.
No doubt the soiree included little more than a couple glasses of reasonably priced wine and an unusually enthusiastic round of "Scene It." But one person was sent to the hospital with cuts on his/her hand, and everyone arrested was held in a local drunk tank until they could walk out without telling the desk officer how much they just really, like, loved him, man, you know?
Vacationing head coach Brian Kelly said discipline would be handled internally. Nate Montana (not to be confused with little brother Nick, an incoming freshman at Washington) rejoined the team in January after a stint at Pasadena City (Calif.) College and made a strong run at the top backup position in the spring.
A relatively routine underage drinking arrest may or may not threaten his status on the depth chart or the team, or that of any of his teammates. (None of the players named are starters, though Tai-ler Jones was an early enrollee in spring and is slated to play right away.) The university's Office of Residence Life hasn't always thrown the book at off-campus offenders. But the alcohol-related death of signee Matt James in April obviously makes it much harder to write off as another case of overgrown boys being boys.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.