Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley addresses why he can't be a captain


Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Some mysteries lack satisfying answers.

Take Ronnie Stanley, for example. When Showtime released a trailer for the debut episode of "A Season With Notre Dame" a few weeks ago, it accidentally leaked a clip that included head coach Brian Kelly explaining that Stanley would not allowed to be a captain this season, despite being an obvious choice.

"Ronnie is not going to be able to accept his captainship," Kelly told the team after practice.

Stanley added: "I want everyone here to learn from my mistakes and grow from them. Just know that I love each and every one of you guys."

So, what exactly were those mistakes? Were they academic? Legal? Performance-related?

It looks like none of the above.

During player interviews on Wednesday, the senior left tackle shed some light — though not much — on why he wasn't included among the Irish's five captains this season.

“I can say it was for parking reasons, but I can’t say anything else," Stanley said. "My teammates and my coaches know there’s no character issue wrong with me.

"I’m here supporting the team. I’m looked at as a leader by teammates and coaches, so I don’t need a ‘C’ on my chest to know what role I have on the team. I never needed that growing up, and I don’t need it now. I definitely still accept the position I’m in and I’m fully ready to do what I have to do for my team.”

The mob of media collectively paused for a moment, then begged for clarification.

Parking reasons?

"Parking reasons."

Stanley — a 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior — has started 28 games at Notre Dame, and is expected to be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

But like it or not, he won't be captain — not in 2015.

Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley during Notre Dame Football Practice on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at Notre Dame in South Bend. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN