Standoff ends with ex-ND coach Corwin Brown in hospital


After a seven-hour standoff with St. Joseph County Police and a SWAT Team, former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown has left his Granger, Indiana home in an ambulance with unknown injuries from what police are calling a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

The injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening, a tranquil ending to a tense standoff with law enforcement that was triggered by a call to 911 around 1:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, which shutdown a quiet, affluent Granger neighborhood.

From there, a tense standoff continued until dusk, with power being cut to the home and police communicating with Brown via bullhorn. Reports from the scene portrayed the situation as both police negotiators and former colleagues pleading with Brown to come out of the home, with no one wanting to harm Brown, nor wanting him to harm himself.

Two different reports have former Michigan and Notre Dame assistant Bob Chimel assisting in the authorities’ pleas, while others have identified Michigan’s Director of Athletic Counseling Greg Harden as someone that helped bring Brown out from his house. Police have confirmed that Brown entered and exited the home multiple times throughout the standoff, and one report described the 41-year-old Brown as carrying a handgun.

Brown grew up in Chicago before attending Michigan on a football scholarship. A co-captain his senior year, he was named All-Big Ten before spending eight seasons in the NFL, playing for the Patriots, Jets and Lions. After his playing career was over, Brown joined the Virginia Cavaliers coaching staff for a season before joining the New York Jets coaching staff as a defensive backs coach. From there, he was plucked by Charlie Weis to be the defensive coordinator that installed a 3-4 defense for the Irish. Brown infused youth into the coaching staff and helped improve a defense that had stagnated under Rick Minter, and was known as a fiery leader known for both his passion and ability to connect with players.

Weis’ decision to hire Jon Tenuta pushed Brown from the role of defensive coordinator as the Irish transitioned back to a 4-3 scheme. Brown took on the title of associate head coach, but relinquished playcalling to Tenuta, and reports of friction on the coaching staff were widespread. When Weis was fired from the head coaching position, Brown was one of the last coaches new head coach Brian Kelly decided not to retain, and after flirting with a few college opportunities, Brown joined the New England Patriots coaching staff, reuniting with Bill Belichick, who he played under in both New York and New England. Brown lasted only one season in New England, leaving amidst reports that anonymous players complained about his coaching ability.

Brown is out of football this season, living in Granger with his wife Melissa and three children, all of whom are now in protective care. Reports say the events were triggered when gunshots were heard in the neighborhood and 911 was called. Police have also confirmed that Brown’s wife was struck in the head before exiting the home with the three children. Brown is currently in the hospital being treated for a serious gunshot wound while authorities have cordoned off the Brown family’s house.

Irish add commitment from CB Donte Vaughn

Donte Vaughn

Notre Dame’s recruiting class grew on Monday. And in adding 6-foot-3 Memphis cornerback Donte Vaughn, it grew considerably.

The Irish added another jumbo-sized skill player in Vaughn, beating out a slew of SEC offers for the intriguing cover man. Vaughn picked Notre Dame over offers from Auburn, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas A&M among others.

He made the announcement on Monday, his 18th birthday:

It remains to be seen if Vaughn can run like a true cornerback. But his length certainly gives him a skill-set that doesn’t currently exist on the Notre Dame roster.

Interestingly enough, Vaughn’s commitment comes a cycle after Brian VanGorder made news by going after out-of-profile coverman Shaun Crawford, immediately offering the 5-foot-9 cornerback after taking over for Bob Diaco, who passed because of Crawford’s size. An ACL injury cut short Crawford’s freshman season before it got started, but not before Crawford already proved he’ll be a valuable piece of the Irish secondary for years to come.

Vaughn is another freaky athlete in a class that already features British Columbia’s Chase Claypool. With a safety depth chart that’s likely turning over quite a bit in the next two seasons, Vaughn can clearly shift over if that’s needed, though Notre Dame adding length like Vaughn clearly points to some of the shifting trends after Richard Sherman went from an average wide receiver to one of the best cornerbacks in football, and Vaughn will be asked to play on the outside.

Vaughn is the 15th member of Notre Dame’s 2016 signing class. He is the fifth defensive back, joining safeties D.J. Morgan, Jalen Elliott and Spencer Perry along with cornerback Julian Love. The Irish project to take one more.

With Notre Dame expecting another huge recruiting weekend with USC coming to town, it’ll be very interesting to see how the Irish staff close out this recruiting class.




Days before facing Notre Dame, USC coach Steve Sarkisian to take leave of absence


When Notre Dame takes on rival USC on Saturday, they’ll be facing a Trojans team without a head coach. USC athletic director Pat Haden announced today that effective immediately, head coach Steve Sarkisian will be taking an indefinite leave of absence. Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will be interim head coach.

While the details are still coming into focus, multiple reports point to another incident with alcohol. Haden himself said that he made the decision after speaking with Sarkisian.

“I called Steve and talked to him. It was very clear to me that he is not healthy. I asked him to take an indefinite leave of absence,” Haden said, according to multiple Los Angeles media reports.

Sarkisian’s decision-making and alcohol use came into the spotlight this August when the head coach made inappropriate statements at a large booster event. Sarkisian addressed the media after the incident, acknowledged mixing medication with alcohol, and vowed to seek help and not to make the same mistake again.

Today’s incident appears to be a relapse, and one that requires immediate attention. Helton ran the team’s practice today and steps back into an interim head coaching role, a job he handled after the Trojans fired Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron left after not being awarded the permanent job.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been in this situation before,” Helton said. “Once again, I’m very fortunate to have a group of first-class kids that are extremely talented and want to do something special here.”

This is the second major sports persona to leave his season to seek treatment in recent weeks. New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia left the team to seek treatment for alcohol issues. The Trojans are coming off an upset loss to Washington on Thursday night, losing 17-12 as a 17-point favorite.