In a relatively surprising turn of events, it looks like the senior season of tight end Mike Ragone has been salvaged.
Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune reports that Ragone has been cleared to work out with teammates, attend summer school, and is expected to be on the active roster next fall, according to Brian Hardin in Notre Dame’s sports information department.
It’s a refreshing change from the usually difficult to grasp Office of Residence Life, which is in charge of disciplining all students at Notre Dame. While hardly a serious crime, Ragone’s arrest for possession of marijuana on May 8th after being stopped for speeding on the Indiana Toll Road had many assuming that his 2010 season at Notre Dame was over before it started. It would’ve been another bump in the road for Ragone, who came to Notre Dame as a highly-touted tight end, but has struggled to make a difference on the field while he battled multiple knee injuries.
As Hansen notes in his report, privacy laws make it next to impossible to know whether or not Res Life has had its disciplinary hearing with Ragone, but Hardin’s comments make it seem as if he’s cleared whatever hurdle he needed to in regards to participating next fall.
After a breakout Blue-Gold Game, Ragone’s boneheaded decision threw the tight end position into disarray, with only Tyler Eifert as a true tight end to back up Kyle Rudolph. While we haven’t heard if there will be a suspension or conditions to his return, Ragone brings some much needed depth — and a great dose of skill — to a position that already has one of the nation’s best.
Let’s hope Mike learns from this mistake and embraces his second chance.