CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches in the second half of the game against the Florida State Seminoles during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey made a plea to the NCAA to suspend him and not fifth-year senior forward Tim Abromaitis for allowing Abromaitis to play in exhibition games during his redshirt sophomore season. The NCAA rulebook can be confusing. That's not a new story. Brey said he misunderstood the rule regarding redshirting and playing in exhibition games.
Brey proposed to let himself serve a two game suspension instead of having Abormaitis sit out Notre Dame's first four games this season. The NCAA rejected the proposal and Abromaitis will sit. Only redshirt freshmen are allowed to play in exhibition games by NCAA rule. While that mistake (not a rule violation, see NCAA rules make so much sense) by Brey could have cost Abromaitis the season, the NCAA has granted him a waiver so long as he misses the first four games against Mississippi Valley State, Detroit, Sam Houston State and Delaware State.
Notre Dame shouldn't have any trouble making it through that four-pack of games without a crucial player like Abromaitis. He will return to play Missouri in the CBE Classic semifinal. From Notre Dame's perspective, a sigh of relief should be in order that Abromaitis is allowed to play at all this year.