Bulldogs should be excused from class

INDIANAPOLIS -- Butler University is in session Monday and the players have a full class schedule.

But will they go? Should they go?

The answer to both is likely no.

Butler is in a unique situation. No other team has been the host school in advance of a national championship game which will be held just six miles from campus. The Bulldogs could literally stay in their own beds in advance of the title game. The team has moved into the hotel to assume a regular road situation. The Butler players did go to class last week, but this has to be different since playing for the national title is a once-in-a-lifetime situation.

Butler sophomore guard Ronald Nored has a full slate for Monday. He said he has a teaching lab study from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. off campus at a school. He said the last time he had the training session they didn’t talk much about academics, with the insinuation that the discussions were about basketball.

Fellow sophomore Gordon Hayward has three math classes and a computer science class. Sessions go from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do about that," Hayward said of his class schedule. “But, yeah, just for us, just try to keep it normal. If he wants us to go, we’ll go."

The idea that the Bulldogs would go to class Monday clearly doesn’t make sense. The odd occurrence of Butler playing at home is the only reason the media discussed it on Sunday. The Bulldogs will have a walk-through at Lucas Oil Stadium, multiple team meals and will likely need to be off their feet for much of the afternoon in preparation for the 9 p.m. tip.

No one at Butler should expect the Bulldogs to go to class Monday where there would be plenty of distractions. Clearly, for this one day, there’s no harm in taking a day off from classes. The focus for the entire university, from the faculty to the student body, will be on Butler’s chance at a historic win over Duke in the national championship game.

And if the Bulldogs win Monday night, taking Tuesday off from classes might not even be an option -- they might not even occur due to the celebrations that will likely happen overnight into Tuesday morning.