Notre Dame switching from adidas to Under Armour

Notre Dame Under Armour

Notre Dame is switching equipment brands from adidas to Under Armour for all its sports teams, according to a report.

The Fighting Irish decided to shop around after its 10-year deal with adidas expired, and the change will happen at the end of the school year, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Notre Dame first struck a deal with adidas in 1997. The sides reached a 10-year extension in 2005 that expires this school year. Notre Dame apparently used to be adidas’ top program, but that changed when they signed Michigan in 2008.

Adding Notre Dame is a huge move for Under Armour, which already outfits Auburn, Hawaii, Maryland, Texas Tech, Boston College, Utah, Northwestern, St. John’s, South Florida and South Carolina, among other colleges.

Though they are a relative newcomer in the sports apparel industry, Under Armour has already gained a huge market share and become a major player. Founded in 1996, the company is publicly traded and reported revenues of $1.83 billion in 2012.

Michigan plays ‘Chicken Dance’ after beating Notre Dame

Michigan beat Notre Dame 41-30 on Saturday night at the Big House in Ann Arbor, and the school celebrated the win over their “regional” rival with a little needling.

Brady HokeAfter playing “The Victors,” which is the University of Michigan’s fight song, the people controlling the music inside the stadium blasted the “Chicken Dance” over the speakers.

The fantastic music choice was a nod to head coach Brady Hoke saying in May that Notre Dame was chickening out by pulling out of the rivalry between the schools. The Fighting Irish informed the Wolverines that they were not interested in playing them beyond this season. Then last weekend Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly downplayed the significance of the rivalry, saying the teams were only regional rivals.

So let’s recap:

    - Brady Hoke calls Notre Dame chickens for pulling out of the rivalry
    - Brian Kelly says Michigan is not a traditional rival for Notre Dame
    - Michigan beats Notre Dame 41-30
    - Wolverines play Chicken Dance over Big House speakers after win

Masterfully done, Michigan.

Video via Guyism

Brian Kelly: Michigan not a historic rival for Notre Dame

Brian KellyNotre Dame and Michigan play on Saturday night at the Big House for what will be one of the more anticipated games of the weekend. Unfortunately, the series between the two historic programs ends after next season. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly doesn’t see the lack of games between the two schools as much of a loss.

“I really haven’t seen it as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries,” Kelly said on a conference call Sunday, via the AP. “I’ve seen it as just one of those great football games that Notre Dame has played.

“For me, I’ve been in Michigan a long time, I’ve always felt the Notre Dame-Michigan game was a big regional game. But in the Notre Dame history books, this game has (been) played, but obviously there have been some years where it hasn’t been played for a number of years.”

Kelly is correct on that point. The schools have played 40 times since their first meeting in 1887. There was a long stretch earlier in the 20th century when the schools did not play, but they’ve met 29 times since 1978.

Obviously it’s become a big rivalry, and it’s a game many fans look forward to early in the season. The problem is that Notre Dame joined the ACC for most sports, and the deal calls for the Fighting Irish to play games against five ACC opponents, which gives them less room for other teams. They decided to ax Michigan, perhaps because the Wolverines are usually a tough opponent. The teams have gone 14-14-1 since ’78.

[Related: Brady Hoke says Notre Dame is chickening out]

Other schools that Notre Dame considers their traditional rivals are USC, Navy, Michigan State and Purdue. They have also played Stanford on a regular basis and want to keep that game on their schedule going forward.

It’s disappointing that Notre Dame will be dropping Michigan, but I guess someone had to be cut. Should we be surprised they decided to get rid of one of their toughest opponents? There’s also some irony in Kelly previously calling out Ohio State for playing an easy schedule, when his Irish are avoiding one of the tougher teams in the country.

Notre Dame lists BCS National Championship Game on its schedule

Brian-Kelly-Complains-About-Notre-Dame-ScheduleNotre Dame has a difficult schedule this year following its BCS National Championship Game berth last season. The Irish have road games against Michigan and Stanford and will be tested at home against Michigan State, Oklahoma and USC. However, Brian Kelly is expecting that his team’s most challenging task will come on Jan. 7.

There are only 12 guaranteed games on Notre Dame’s schedule this upcoming season, but Kelly has decided to pencil in a 13th on the team’s official schedule that is hanging at its facility.

Obviously, Kelly is trying to motivate his players to get back to the place the position they were in last season. That will be no easy task. The Irish lost 42-14 to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game last season. Kelly is hoping their fortune will be different this season, and it looks like he’s at least expecting to get another shot.

H/T College Spun

Notre Dame refuses to release Eddie Vanderdoes from letter of intent

Eddie VanderdoesTop defensive lineman recruit Eddie Vanderdoes may lose a year of eligibility during his college football career because Notre Dame is refusing to release him from his National Letter of Intent.

Vanderdoes, a five-star recruit from Auburn, Calif., signed his letter of intent with Notre Dame in February. However, the 6-foot-4 defensive tackle says his circumstances changed and that he wants to stay closer to his family and not attend Notre Dame. Notre Dame agreed to waive its recruiting ban on him, which allowed UCLA to recruit the incoming freshman. But the Irish are refusing to release him from his letter of intent, which will prevent Vanderdoes from playing this fall and cost him a year of eligibility.

“We did not release him from his national letter of intent in order to protect the integrity of that very important program,” Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said in a statement, via WNDU. “But we have worked with the Vanderdoes family so that Eddie can continue his education this fall at a school closer to his home. We understand Eddie’s interest in remaining closer to his family and wish him well.”

Notre Dame reportedly was hesitant to lift the recruiting ban because they were worried he would go to rival USC, where he committed last year before changing his decision.

It seems that Vanderdoes is unlikely to get the fourth year of eligibility. He was denied an appeal to the National Letter of Intent board, but he can still appeal Notre Dame’s decision.

[Read more...]

Gunner Kiel could transfer back to Notre Dame without much issue

Gunner Kiel Notre DameThe news that Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame has left many people noting the poor timing (and luck) of Gunner Kiel, who decided to transfer to Cincinnati in April.

Kiel was a top quarterback recruit entering college. He initially committed to Indiana and then LSU before backing out and deciding to attend Notre Dame. Kiel wound up behind Golson and Tommy Rees on the depth chart and decided to leave the school in the spring.

Despite deciding to transfer to Cincinnati, Kiel could still return to Notre Dame without much issue if he chooses.

An April 19 report in the Chicago Tribune said Kiel’s transfer was completed and that the quarterback was scheduled to begin classes at the school on May 6. He would have to sit out the season per transfer rules and he would have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2014.

Now here’s the important information for those wondering if Kiel could return to Notre Dame. John Infante of Bylaw Blog says there is a bylaw that allows student-athletes to return to their original school if there was minimal or no participation at the previous school.

[Read more...]

Everett Golson reportedly no longer enrolled at Notre Dame

Everett GolsonEverett Golson is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame, according to multiple reports.

WNDU first reported that Golson is not currently enrolled at the school. A spokesman also confirmed the news to the South Bend Tribune.

WNDU says the school could not comment further on the issue “due to federal and school privacy laws.”

Chicago Tribune reporter Brian Hamilton says Golson is no longer enrolled at the school due to an academic violation. Hamilton says the violation is believed to be something that will keep him out for the upcoming season.

Golson was a starter as a redshirt freshman for the Irish last season. He led the team to a 12-1 record and appearance in the national championship game.

Golson split time with Tommy Rees at quarterback, though he took most of the snaps. He threw for 2,405 yards, 12 touchdowns, six interceptions and rushed for six touchdowns last season.

Rees and Andrew Hendrix are likely to compete for the starting job if Golson is indeed gone. Highly-touted recruit Gunner Kiel would have been in competition for the job, but he elected to transfer to Cincinnati in April.