Weis says Clausen will face Stanford

Updated: November 25, 2009, 3:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was sporting a black eye behind the tinted visor he wore to practice Tuesday.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Clausen was the "victim of a sucker punch" in an incident Saturday night at a South Bend-area pub after the Fighting Irish lost to Connecticut in double overtime. Swarbrick made the comments during a taping of his show for WLS Radio 890 in Chicago, which normally airs on Saturday.

[+] EnlargeJimmy Clausen
AP Photo/Joe RaymondNotre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen wore a tinted visor for practice Tuesday after being punched outside a pub Monday.

"He was not engaged in a fight. He didn't throw any punches. He didn't directly engage the individual," Swarbrick said. "He just got coldcocked by somebody, and we're very disturbed by that."

ESPN's Joe Schad reported Monday that a source said Clausen was "sucker-punched" by a fan as he left an establishment.

A message seeking comment was left Tuesday evening for Swarbrick on his cell phone.

Clausen was at C.J.'s Pub at about 2 a.m. local time with his family and girlfriend after Notre Dame's 33-30 loss to UConn, according to the official.

The group decided to leave after words were exchanged with others at the bar, the official said. As they were leaving, Clausen's girlfriend realized she left her purse behind. Clausen went back to retrieve the purse and someone followed him outside and punched him, the official said. Clausen did not fight back and left, the official said.

South Bend Police Capt. Phil Trent said police were called to the scene after receiving a report of a fight. Trent said police arrived within minutes but everyone was gone.

An employee at C.J.'s Pub who asked that his name not be used told ESPN's George Smith that several Notre Dame upperclassmen were with Clausen at the bar Saturday. He said the group included several offensive lineman and other offensive players.

The employee told Smith that off-duty South Bend police officers were working at the bar providing security, which is fairly common there.

"If anything had happened inside, we would have handled it," he said. "No one was accosted inside."

A message seeking comment was left on the cell phone of Clausen's father, Jim Sr., by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reported earlier Wednesday that Clausen's family had sold its South Bend home. However, in the afternoon, the real estate agent quoted in the original story told the newspaper that that information was incorrect.

Coach Charlie Weis declined to address the dustup Tuesday at his news conference, other than to say Clausen would practice this week and start Saturday against Stanford (7-4).

Clausen was not available to comment to the media Tuesday, and the usual Wednesday media availability with him and other Notre Dame captains was canceled.

Weis called off all interviews for players and assistant coaches this week.

Weis poked fun at Clausen during practice on Tuesday, saying his new nickname was "Darth Vader."

Weis announced in August that he would allow Notre Dame players to wear visors for the first time. He said at the time that they could wear only clear visors because he didn't think dark ones would look right at Notre Dame, and he didn't want players to have "Darth Vader visors."

"I thought [they] were way too Hollywood for Notre Dame," he said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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