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.

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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.

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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.

Buyout of Charlie Weis may end up costing Notre Dame $19 million

Charlie-Weis-Notre-DameNotre Dame fans have long moved on from the Charlie Weis era. Weis was hired to coach the Fighting Irish in 2005, and he was unsuccessful in restoring a tradition of winning in South Bend. His successor, Brian Kelly, led Notre Dame to the BCS National Championship game last season. A glance at the school’s payroll might lead you to believe Weis had something to do with it.

As Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune pointed out, Notre Dame could end up paying Weis nearly $19 million to do absolutely nothing for the team when all is said and done. According to federal tax documents obtained by the Tribune on Thursday, Weis received a buyout payment of $6,638,403 when he was fired in 2009. He has since received two more payments of $2,054,744 and is scheduled to receive similar payments through 2015, which would bring his total compensation after dismissal to just south of $19 million.

Good lord. As far as the “books” are concerned, Kelly earned only $1,088,179 at Notre Dame from July 2011 to July 2012. However, the school noted that its head football coach is authorized to receive compensation from “external sources” such as apparel companies that would not have to be reported on tax forms.

Weis, who is currently the head coach at Kansas, may have his hands full with student reporters like this, but there is no need to feel sorry for him. In addition to earning a nice paycheck from the Jayhawks, Weis is scheduled to receive more than $2 million per year from Notre Dame for the next four years. Coaches may need to win to keep their jobs, but they certainly don’t have to collect hardware to keep the paychecks coming.

H/T National Football Post

Brady Hoke chides Notre Dame for ‘chickening out’ of rivalry game

Brady HokeMichigan and Notre Dame have played each other in football 40 times, including every season since 2002. But that rivalry was set to be put on hiatus in 2018-2019 as the Irish scheduled games with the ACC. However, what wasn’t expected was that the Irish would also cancel the scheduled games between the two for 2015-2017. Michigan coach Brady Hoke thinks Notre Dame is “chickening out” of facing the Wolverines in those games.

“We are fortunate to have unbelievable rivalry games at Michigan. The Notre Dame game, that rivalry, which they’re chickening out of,” Hoke said Monday during the West Michigan Sports Commission Annual Luncheon, via MLive.com.

“They’re still gonna play Michigan State, they’re gonna play Purdue, but they don’t want to play Michigan,” Hoke continued. “I don’t know how they made that decision … I really do … But anyway, that’s a great national rivalry game. It’s a great game.”

College football fans have become used to seeing the Irish and Wolverines play every fall. Michigan has gone 6-5 against Notre Dame since 2002, including 38-0 wins in 2003 and 2007. The teams will still meet for the next two seasons, so you can believe that the Irish will remember Hokes comments when they play. Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III has already taken note of the remark:

This is going to be an exciting one. It also must be kept in mind that Michigan reportedly asked Notre Dame to stop the series in 2018-2019 first.

Helmet smack to Dr. Saturday

Gunner Kiel reportedly planning to transfer from Notre Dame

Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel was one of the most highly-touted prospects of the 2012 high school recruiting class, and he took several schools along for the ride. Kiel, who is from Indiana, committed to Indiana University in the summer of 2011 before switching to LSU. He was set to enroll at LSU last January, but his mother reportedly became very emotional about her son going to school so far from home. At the last second, Kiel wound up committing to Notre Dame.

Now, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound freshman may have changed his mind yet again. According to Irish Sports Daily, Kiel intends to transfer from Notre Dame. He spent the 2012 season as the scout team quarterback for the Irish and was redshirted, meaning he still has four years of eligibility remaining. Many believed Kiel could challenge Everett Golson for the starting quarterback position this spring.

Kiel graduated early from high school and was considered the nation’s top prep school quarterback in the class of 2012. When he switched his commitment to Notre Dame just days before he was scheduled to enroll at LSU, Les Miles was not pleased.

“There was a gentleman from Indiana that thought about coming to the Bayou state,” Miles said at the time, via ESPN.com. “He did not necessarily have the chest and the ability to lead a program, so you know.”

It’s unclear what Kiel’s motives would be for transferring from Notre Dame or where he intends to go. While we don’t know a whole lot about Kiel as a college quarterback just yet, we can be certain of one thing — he’s one indecisive young man.

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick: Manti Te’o got call from dead girlfriend

manti teo notre dameNotre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick held a press conference on Wednesday to address the explosive story from Deadspin that says linebacker Manti Te’o’s deceased girlfriend was a hoax. Deadspin reported a source was 80 percent sure that Te’o was in on the hoax and did so in order to gain publicity. Many details about the story don’t add up, and they seem to point to Te’o being involved in the hoax or, at the very least, lying on numerous occasions about his girlfriend.

The skepticism matters little to Notre Dame’s athletic department, which called the press conference to stand by their star linebacker.

In what will likely be remembered as the moment Notre Dame attached its anchor to the sinking Te’o ship, Swarbrick defended Te’o as an incredibly naive, gullible person who was duped by a group of characters out to get him. Swarbrick tried to uncover the alleged schemers’ motivation, suggesting they wanted to lead Te’o to commit an NCAA violation. Yeah, he went there.

But the most amazing revelation from the press conference came when Swarbrick said Te’o first approached the school about a potential hoax after claiming to have received a phone call from the girlfriend on Dec. 6 after her supposed September death.

“On the morning of December 26, Manti called his coaches to inform them that while he was in attendance at the ESPN awards show in Orlando, he received a phone call from a number he recognized as having been associated with Lennay Kekua. When he answered it, it was a person whose voice sounded like the same voice he had talked to, who told him that she was, in fact, not dead,” Swarbrick explained.

“Manti was very unnerved about that, as you could imagine. But he maintained that secret until he called the coaches on the morning of the 26th.”

Swarbrick says the coaches informed him about the incident, and that he spoke with Te’o about it on Dec. 27 and 28.

“He became startled, shocked. That was absolutely the first sign,” Swarbrick said of Te’o’s reaction. “It goes to my comments about Manti and his character. Every single thing about this until that day in the first week of December was real about this to Manti. There was no suspicion that it wasn’t, no belief that it might not be. The pain was real, the grief was real, the affection was real.”

How do we explain that one? Maybe it was the moment Te’o was finally ready to end the whole act.