The internet has graciously offered up several different explanations of what really happened at CJ's Pub last Saturday night. At this point, they are all equally plausible/ludicrous, but we present these unvarnished tales so that you might pass impartial judgment.
The first comes from the South Bend Tribune:
The 22-year-old junior from Westlake Village left the restaurant/bar without incident initially, the source said. But Clausen's date forgot her purse inside. The two went back into get it about 2 a.m., and as they were leaving, Clausen's date was pushed by a man outside the bar.
Words were exchanged between Clausen and the man, the source said. Clausen pushed the man away, with his hand landing in the man's neck area. The man then punched Clausen in the eye, and the two wrestled on the ground for a few seconds before the fight was broken up.
Police were called to the scene, in part because of that incident, in part because of some other skirmishes going on at the establishment. No arrests were made.
The second comes from emailer "Ted":
I'm sure you're already all over this, but there's a lot of chatter on the Notre Dame message boards about the Jimmy Clausen incident. Some first-hand accounts are saying that the story being peddled to the public is straight BS - that Jimmy got beat up for throwing a drink/slapping another dude's girlfriend. I have no idea if any of this is true or not, but let's be honest - with that spiky hair, Clausen looks just like the kind of guy who would do something like that. Anyways, here's hoping you all get some honest to God firsthand accounts of what actually happened. I somehow doubt Jimmy's parents were still out with him at 2 in the morning, and how does one sucker punch lead to two black eyes?
For the record, one broken nose can easily bruise both eyes, but that's neither here nor there. Finally, an unsourced version comes out of the ether:
According to my son (Tim), here's what happened early Sunday morning.
Tim was sitting at the bar next to Clausen's brother and his wife. (He thinks it was Casey Clausen, 6-5 250+) Casey goes into the bathroom. Tim starts chatting up his wife. He said something funny enough to her that got her laughing at him (not sure how he did that). When Clausen's brother comes out, he sees Tim and his wife laughing and figures Tim is seriously hitting on her. He goes up to them and starts into Tim. Both Tim and his wife try to calm him down. He doesn't go for it. Tim said he grabbed his arm and told him to relax...that turned out to be a big mistake.
Clausen's brother then grabs Tim by the collar and starts lifting him out of his chair. (At this point Tim feels he's in pretty big trouble). As he's dragging him outside, Jimmy Clausen sees them and yells across the bar to take Tim out and beat the crap out of him. Jimmy is about to reach them when, out of the blue, some big drunk kid bursts in front and sucker-punches Jimmy three times. Jimmy is on the ground. Mike Ragone (ND tight end) then jumps in, pulls the guy off Jimmy Clausen and tells his brother to let Tim go. By this point Clausen's brother had dragged Tim almost to the door. Ragone was finally able to convince him to let Tim go.
Every one settled down and went back to drinking. The Clausens hung around. Tim (in a fit of brilliance) moved to the other side of the bar.
About an hour goes by, and the Clausen's get up to leave. Apparently, Jimmy went outside, and another drunk kid gives him a hard time. They get in a little 'skirmish', but its broken up and everyone goes home.
Tim never did get the name of the kid who punched Jimmy, but he owes his un-broken nose to him. I think my son learned a little lesson in risk and reward...
You might find it interesting that Theories One and Three do not necessarily contradict each other. Feel free to factor that into your decision making. If anyone finds any other explanation, leave them in the comments or email us and we'll post those too. The truth is out there, people.
[Photo via JimmyClausenOnline.org]
UPDATE: Another one. Question everything!
Got the word from a legitimate source in South Bend. And by legitimate I mean my (ND student) brother's cable guy was an eye witness to everything that happened in the parking lot at CJ's. Basically Jimmy is out in the parking lot waiting for his brothers when some fan decked out in ND gear (probably an Eastern Michigan alum) informs JC that "he sucks". Clausen told the guy he was a jackass/asshole and to back off, to which the fan responds "I should hit you in the face right now". JC then says "oh yeah", then gets hit with a right.
The employee said 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." [ESPN]