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Floyd’s clearance for summer drills another step in return

Jun 7, 2011, 1:59 PM EDT

Michael FloydA

In the doldrums of summer, any news on wide receiver Michael Floyd is big news, and yesterday Notre Dame football’s director of football media relations Brian Hardin supplied some headlines when he tweeted head coach Brian Kelly’s most recent comments on his suspended star receiver:

“Michael has made steady progress towards modifying his behavior and he may participate in the voluntary workouts being conducted by his teammates as well as the summer strength and conditioning program, if he so chooses,” Kelly said in a statement.

“However, Michael still has steps to take before he can be considered for reinstatement to our football team. If he meets the conditions I have outlined to him and he demonstrates improved decision-making skills, Michael will have the opportunity to rejoin the team for practices and games this fall. If he doesn’t meet every criteria given to him, Michael will not play for Notre Dame in 2011.”

And with that, a brouhaha begins.

For those looking to claim Notre Dame and Brian Kelly are short-shrifting the Golden Dome by adding some context to Notre Dame’s previously draconian disciplinary system, they’re given another clip of ammo. But for those that are looking for some common sense logic behind the announcement, here goes:

The idea of voluntary, players-only workouts is something that’s very hard for Notre Dame and the coaching staff to police by NCAA law. (Just ask Michigan.) Even if he wanted to, Kelly or the Irish athletic department couldn’t really keep someone out of those workouts, so the fact that they’ve said it’s okay, “if he so chooses” to participate, should tell you enough. Floyd working out with the team isn’t anybody’s call but Floyd, Harrison Smith, Dayne Crist and the rest of the leadership unit on the football team.

That said, if there’s one place where Kelly is making a statement, it’s that he’s allowed Floyd to join the team in the summer strength and conditioning program. Again, Floyd is still a scholarship athlete, and every scholarship athlete that’s on campus in the summer is expected to workout with the strength and conditioning team. But not every scholarship athlete is Notre Dame’s career leader in receiving touchdowns, so this is a another step toward reinstatement for Floyd.

But the bigger step is the legal hurdle that’s still in front of Floyd. According to the South Bend Tribune, Floyd’s attorney was in court today, requesting the case to be continued until June 29th, giving him time to work out a plea agreement on behalf of his client.

Kelly’s “all in or all out” edict for Floyd seems to have raised a few eyebrows and even given some people reason to believe Floyd’s return is all but a foregone conclusion. That assumption holds little water, especially when you do even the slightest bit of digging into the work Michael’s done since March.

If No. 3 is in uniform and on the field against South Florida on September 3rd, it’s because he’s done everything that’s been asked of him by his head coach, one of the only opinions that matter on the subject. Whether fans or writers feel that five months in purgatory is enough — that’s hardly the point. For Notre Dame, maintaining integrity will never come down to fan surveys or public opinion, and in taking the wait-and-see approach with one of the university’s most high-profile student-athletes, they’re making a decision on their own terms.

As the Irish football team begins to put in the offseason work that makes championship teams possible, they’ll have one of their leaders back in the fold. While it sounds like a broken record, whether Floyd stays with the team isn’t up to Brian Kelly, it’s up to No. 3 himself.



  1. ccad05 - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Uh oh here come the notre dame haters

  2. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jun 8, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    I, for one, am glad to see that the Admin and Coach Kelly are not taking some knee-jerk, over-reactive step to address the symptoms of Floyd’s behavior, but rather a slow and measured response to cure the disease. Floyd and ND will be better off in the long run, whether he plays or not. They are handling this whole thing very adroitly and properly in my opinion. Let the haters hate…..that is what they do and they’ll do it regardless of what Kelly or the University does..

  3. 1historian - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    The haters will hate because that’s what they do. But there is a vast difference between the haters and those who criticize the University because they believe she should be doing better – MUCH better. To lump the two together is ignorant.

    Notre Dame has a tendency to portray itself as an elite institution run BY the elite FOR the elite and so anyone who goes there is by definition, elite. To me and to many others – both grads and non-grads – there is an arrogance about the place that is most unbecoming and most unfitting at a University that claims to be Catholic.

    Notre Dame doesn’t do humble well at all, and this is a shame because she has much to be humble about.

    FYI – I went there, I did not graduate – but I have always been proud of the time I spent there. From what I see and read about it now I am not as proud as I used to be.

    And I hope they win lots of football games this fall.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Okay, you’re not as proud as you used to be and the University should be doing better…….much better, in your words. Are you saying they are handling the situation improperly? What would you do differently? I think its wise to put the onus on Floyd to accomplish real change in his life and if Kelly sees that, he plays…..if not, he sits. For all we know now, he may never play another down for the Irish but that is completely up to him. Its like the old joke: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Just one but the light bulb really has to want to change. I think this approach is genius. Your comments strike me as a “hater” from within and here’s hoping that your insidious attitude won’t effect others.

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