Source: Chappell attempted to sell tickets
By TIM CASEY
Backup quarterback Eric Chappell's recent dismissal from the football team was a punishment for attempting to sell complimentary tickets and accepting gifts, an anonymous source told The Observer Wednesday night.
Chappell reportedly offered two tickets for $50 each for the Sept. 4 Notre Dame-Michigan game to the source and a 1998 Notre Dame graduate. The two tickets were never purchased from Chappell by the source and the graduate. However, they previously received free tickets from Chappell and other players, the source said.
The source also reported Chappell received gifts totaling $5,000 from the graduate. The source claimed to have never given Chappell gifts.
Davie announced Chappell's dismissal at Tuesday's press conference and said it was an "internal discipline matter." Chappell, a third-string quarterback for the Irish, repeated Davie's comment Wednesday night.
When asked about the allegations, Chappell said, "They're false."
The source allegedly called the athletic department on Aug. 31 to report about the tickets. The source claimed to have met representatives from the athletic department the following day.
"I thought he shouldn't be charging for the tickets," the source said. "I thought the only way to rectify the situation was to go to the athletic department."
At the meeting, the source denied giving gifts to Chappell but mentioned that Chappell tried to sell them tickets.
Chappell's phone number allegedly appeared twice on the source's caller ID Sept. 6, but the source claimed not to have returned the calls. There has been no attempted contact between Chappell and the source since, the source said.
The source said to have met again with athletic department representatives at the Main Building on the night of Sept. 7. Athletic director Michael Wadsworth and head coach Bob Davie were not present, the source said.
The source claimed to have had no further contact with the athletic department since Sept. 7.
At that meeting, representatives allegedly inquired about gifts Chappell supposedly received from the graduate. The source presented a list of gifts given to Chappell by the graduate.
The source allegedly witnessed the graduate give Chappell some of 12 or 13 gifts. The gifts were given over one and a half years — the most recent given this summer, the source said.
"He's clearly been using [the graduate] to buy him gifts," the source said.
Chappell reportedly kept the gifts in his Keough Hall dorm room.
The source said to have learned of Chappell's dismissal Wednesday morning from a radio report.
Notre Dame's sports information department declined to elaborate on the allegations.
"The University does not comment on any disciplinary matters or anything involving Eric Chappell," sports information director John Heisler said.
Every uniformed player can offer four guests free access to each game. The players do not actually receive tickets but list guests to be admitted without charge into the games. The guests must show identification at the gate. The athletic department pays for the tickets.
There is no team policy about selling complimentary tickets, Heisler said, but it is an NCAA violation to sell them.
"I don't think there's a team policy because it's an NCAA rule," Heisler said. "That would supercede anything."
All News Stories for Thursday, September 16, 1999