Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/25/11
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Looks like Notre Dame is in serious trouble this season. Their co-captain Tim Abromaitis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at practice this morning and will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season. His loss will be felt not just in South Bend, but throughout the Big East and college basketball worlds.

Abro played in two games and was averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had missed Notre Dame’s first four games (all wins) due to misunderstanding of a technicality in an NCAA rule governing seasons of competition that dated back to the 2008-09 campaign when he played in the first two exhibition of his sophomore campaign and then sat out the remainder of that season.

In his first game back, Notre Dame’s 87-58 loss to Missouri in the semifinals of the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo., the fifth-year senior scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds. With Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough graduated, Abro, who was the second banana on last year’s team was expected to be the alpha dog this year. Now that role falls to Purdue transfer Scott Martin, the lone remaining starter from last season’s #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament team.

Three starters from last year’s squad, which was ranked as high as #4 in the nations (towards the end of the regular season) were eligible to play this year, but today just one -Martin- remains. Abromaitis is out for the year, and Carleton Scott decided to forego his final season of eligibility.

Will Abro every play again? Only if the NCAA grants him a medical hardship year, and therefore another season. I’ve talked to scouts at ND games, who believe he could become a good overseas player.

“Tim Abromaitis is one of the great stories in college athletics and represents everything that is good about college basketball,” Irish head coach Mike Brey says. “We are all disappointed for Tim because of all that he has meant to our program. He has been such a big part of our success over the past three seasons. Tim is such a special young man and an unbelievable representative of Notre Dame both on and off the basketball court.”

A preseason all-BIG EAST selection, Abromaitis graduated from Notre Dame in May 2010 with a degree in finance and received an MBA from the Mendoza College of Business in May 2011. I never ever use the term “student athlete” to describe college players, but here is one place where it actually applies.

I actually did an interview with Abro during the tourney last year discussing just MBA school and economics.

He was also a member of the 2011 USA Men’s Basketball World University Games Team in August.

He is expected to undergo surgery in the next two weeks. The best case scenario for the Irish is if they have a reaction similar to the final weeks of the 2010 season, when they lost Luke Harangody yet displayed Ewing Theory by coming together and winning enough games to go from tourney bubble to #6 seed.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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