Tim Brown speaks his mind about Notre Dame investigation

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

Speaking out about the Notre Dame academic fraud investigation, former Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown said Monday that current players need to think of those who have walked before them.

He seemed to welcome the opportunity to share those thoughts with current members of the team.

Four Irish players -- cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and linebacker Kendall Moore -- cannot practice or play while the school continues its investigation. The four remain on scholarship.

Brown, who won the 1987 Heisman, spoke Monday with WSBT-TV at a golf outing at Warren Golf Course. Brown said that in the more than 25 years since he graduated, he's spoken to the team just once, something he seemed like he'd be willing to do more of. He added that when players slip up, it affects the players who have walked before them.

"Not that I want to be here speaking to the team, but there needs to be some accountability," Brown said. "They need to understand that when they act it affects us too because I'm sitting here answering these questions. Rocket (Ismail) has to answer these questions. I think from that standpoint, they have to have some accountability from us to them and from them to us. It's hard to do that if you never see anybody and you never interact with them."

Brown also discussed last year's suspension of Everett Golson, who was ND's quarterback in 2012 but missed last season because of an academic suspension. Golson has since been reinstated and was recently named the starting quarterback.

"I thought last year the way they handled the Golson thing really should have been a lesson, not for just the university, but for colleges all over," Brown said. "For your starting quarterback to have a violation, an academic violation, and for him to be suspended for the entire football season, that's pretty big. You're not going to see a lot of universities doing that."

The latest focus has again put the spotlight on Notre Dame.

"Young kids, you never know what can happen, you never know who can influence you and unfortunately they may have been influenced by the wrong person," Brown said.

Brown also shared his thoughts on what the potential personnel losses would mean to the 2014 season.

"It's going to be tough anyway. Without DaVaris Daniels, without Russell it makes it really, really tough. Those are starters on offense and defense," Brown said.

“It's an opportunity for somebody to step up and shine but it could certainly make it a tougher year."

BWieneke@NDInsider.com | 574-235-6428 | Twitter: @BWienekeNDI

Tim Brown walks off the field after the coin toss during the Shamrock Series game between Notre Dame and Arizona State on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN