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Amir Carlisle granted immediate eligibility

Mar 15, 2012, 2:34 PM EDT


(Note: Developing story on Tee Shepard’s departure from Notre Dame coming…)

Running back Amir Carlisle, who joined the Irish football program for the spring semester after transferring from USC, has had his waiver request approved by the NCAA, allowing him to play immediately. The rising sophomore from Santa Clara, California will not have to sit out the 2012 season and will enter a running back depth chart filled with wildcards behind returning starter Cierre Wood.

“I want to thank Notre Dame and its compliance office for helping me with this request,” Carlisle said in a statement released by the university. “I also want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving me the blessing to play this year. I love being here at Notre Dame and can’t wait to run out of the tunnel this September wearing my gold helmet.”

Carlisle’s ability to run out of that tunnel in September was an uphill battle likely won due to the unique circumstances that led to Carlisle’s transfer. A family move to Indiana after Carlisle’s father Duane was named the director of sports performance at Purdue uprooted the family from the Bay Area, where the elder Carlisle served as the head strength and conditioning coach for the San Francisco 49ers. After impressing in limited duty at USC during a freshman season that was plagued by nagging injuries, Amir decided to transfer to Notre Dame, the school that was the runner-up to Southern Cal on Signing Day a year earlier, and only 110 miles from his family.

“I want to publicly commend the exemplary work done by our compliance office, specifically, Jen Vining-Smith,” head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “Amir was going to be a great addition to our team regardless of whether he was going to be able to compete for us this fall. Now we know we’ll be able to use his talents on the field and I’m very happy about that.”

Carlisle will add an intriguing option to coach Tony Alford‘s stable of talent. With Wood the likely feature back, Carlisle will join an interesting battle with Theo Riddick as a unique cross-over option that should give the Irish offense under new offensive coordinator Chuck Martin some multiplicity. With the slot receiver depth chart behind Robby Toma unsettled, and running backs George Atkinson and Cam McDaniel not doing much during their freshman seasons, Carlisle will enter spring practice rejuvenated, and capable of working his way quickly up a depth chart very much undecided after the top spot.


  1. seanb20124 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Looking for Tee Shepherd info??

  2. bphoward - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Sorry, but I have to say I am very, very disappointed in the coverage from a site called “Inside the Irish”. Two plus hours have passed since WNDU posted the story about Tee Shepard leaving, and close to the same amount of time since another NBC-owned site posted the story on Carlisle (which also included the news about Shepard). If this was just an isolated incident, I would not be inclined to post a negative comment, but anyone who visits this site with any regularity has had to have noticed the lack of promptness on any breaking story involving ND.

    • borromini - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      KA did note at the top of this story that TS news would be coming.

      In today’s world of instant news…it’s not as important as it used to be to issue the headlines first or along with everyone else.

      None of the other sites that reported Shepard’s departure offered any insight as to why. If KA does…then there’s the differential.

      • bphoward - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        I’m not looking for KA to be the first to break every story… that would be placing unfair expectations upon anyone… even ESPN can’t break every story. I do expect, however, to be able to come to a site devoted to ND and find current news. As you said, today is a world of instant news, and those that don’t report it get left behind. While adding details that others aren’t reporting would certainly add value, by waiting at least two hours to post a story that is already being talked about in the comments section makes it appear as though he is out of touch with what is actually happening at ND. Again, I’m not expecting the world… just a little more promptness on posting breaking stories.

      • tedlinko - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        @bphoward, No one site is for everyone and if this one isn’t for you, please feel free to move along.
        I do have to say I find your comment amusing (and I’d almost think it was satire if I detected any hint that you recognized the irony). In one sentence you acknowledge that KA can’t break every story. In the next sentence you’re chastising him for not having weighed in on something that others have been popping off about for a grand total of a couple hours. Those users, of course, are just offering their opinions based almost exclusively on the headlines from ESPN.

        What regular visitors to this site understand and appreciate is that KA is rarely the first to break a big headline about ND. We don’t care. That’s not why we come here. If you just want to know the 30 second thumbnail version, stick to your ESPN sports ticker.

        What I know is that, when KA does post an article here, it will be worth my time because it will often have inside information and insights on the program that you won’t find on ESPN, or anywhere else for that matter. At the very least it will offer a perspective from a writer who is both an alum, and who maintains close ties to the school and the football program. Frankly, that’s something I value and it’s why I visit.

    • chicagoirish23 - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      I respectfully disagree. Although Keith is obviously a little late on this one, he is 100% of the time my first stop when I read something on twitter or hear something from somebody about something involving ND. Besides, what’s Keith going to post, the same exact thing everyone else does? My assumption is that Keith is actually doing some investigative reporting to give us a story with substance, to actually explain the situation on why Tee left instead of repeating what everyone else is saying.

      • bphoward - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        I hope that is the case, as well. However, two hours after reading that Amir Carlisle had been cleared to play, this story was posted which added absolutely nothing to what had already been reported earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envy the position KA is in. He can’t please everyone, and has to deal with comments from people like me, but I hope he does not take it personally, and uses it as how it was intended… constructive criticism.

    • don74 - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      At this point what is there to know? He showed up early and he left just as early. Seems like he caught every one by surprise. Kelly will never breech a confidence and say why he left, heck he never was forth coming with the Dayne situation.

      He was here and now he’s gone. He signed a LOI and unless he’s granted a waiver he sits out a year. Maybe the 70 degree weather in South Bend reminded him of home. Only kidding, point being we will never know. As long as he doesn’t sign with any other program he can return. Other players have left and returned.

      • cc2x4bills - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:13 PM

        bphoward – Do you want breaking news or good analysis? I choose the analysis. If you think Keith should have posted – Breaking News Tee Shepard is transferring, with a picture and a quote, then you should find another site to follow, as there are many that fit this mode. This is not a twitter account.


    • johngmack - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM


  3. kansasirish - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Can Carlisle play corner? JK, but they’re going to need some help from some where, probably Neal.

    • bgnd91 - Mar 15, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      excellent point. I think that, given both Shepard’s departure and Amir being immediately available to play, that increases the likelihood that Neal plays defense (if he is ready to, of course). Sucks, because he has a hell of a potential on offense, but I would think that now CB becomes a greater position of need. Who knows, maybe he will be someone like Chris Gamble a long time ago for OSU playing on both sides of the ball.

  4. jsrnd1 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Insiders on ISD say all he was doing was chasing tail, not going to class, and not showing up to team funcitons. That would be enough to get kicked out of school in two months.

    • chicagoirish23 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      I don’t want to speculate on why he left the school. I did however go through and read his twitter account over the last two weeks (I could only do two weeks because he tweets so much) and the vast majority of his tweets are about women. There are even some that might be found offensive, stuff like, “cough cough, what’s that smell, oh my upper lip”. When watching his interviews before he committed I felt he was a kid that was perfect for ND, trying to be a role model w/ his hearing impeadment. After reading his tweeter account, I’m almost happy he is gone.

    • dickasman - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Guys, Its been REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL HARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDD sitting on the sidelines and not participating. I have been taking my Cymbalta and squeezing the stress balls to the nines and gagging myself with a gagball in stopping myself from blowin up here out of respek for the board, BUT…

      Are there any good, decent college kids out there anymore?


      • jrct2450yahoo - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        Very few, I’m afraid. I’m also afraid he isn’t the last one at ND we will be reading about in the future.

  5. bernhtp - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I have no knowledge of the situation, but ND is now on spring break and midterm exam results probably just came in. It might have been very ugly.

  6. nudeman - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    1) No one knows the reasons, but common themes I’ve seen are grades and tweets.
    2) Tee sat out his HS senior year. Can’t remember why. Anybody else remember?
    3) ND will survive this. Tee was a “maybe” in terms of being a ’12 contributor. Somebody now needs to step up. Simple as that. Better now than in September
    4) I think Neal just became a CB; but mostly I’m just hoping he makes it to South Bend

    • bphoward - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      I believe he had to sit out his senior season because he transferred to a different school.. I could be wrong, though.

  7. akirish - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    I for one can’t mourn too heavily the loss of a player who never played. He didn’t fit, he’s gone like he was never here, and it is better that it happens now rather than later on when they actually invested time and counted on him to contribute. I want a winner as bad as anyone else in the ND family, but I want it accomplished by ND quality players who want to be here.

    How about celebrating the fact that we have Carlisle for this season? The growing pains of any young QB, regardless who it is, are going to be greatly mitigated w/ this blue chip playmaker on the field! The potential for this offense to be explosive in the way all of us have been waiting for since Kelly’s arrival is there. This is the type of kid we have become accustomed to breaking a big play and our hearts while playing for SC!

    Good luck to Tee, hope things come together for him.

    Welcome Amir! Can’t wait to see you in the end zone!

    • nudeman - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      On the bright side: Keith’s article suggests a thin ray of hope exists, with the possibility of enrolling at a juco or some other school until he gets acclimated to college level studies.

      However … thin, very thin.

      • dickasman - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM


      • irishbornraised - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:12 PM

        Exactly, it’s an open secret stanford has completely lowered their standards

  8. gtizzo - Mar 15, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Well Keith that clears up the depth chart,

    Neal will have to go to corner with Shepard gone, and Riddick can move back to the slot with Amir able to play. Wood will be the feature back since he understands the pass blocking at ND. Neal will still return kicks, something the Irish need, Lo Wood and Jalen Brown are my bet as two of the guys to fill corner back rolls this season. Slaughter is going to have to be a leader in the defensive back field as he will be the old guy.

    • nudeman - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Makes as much sense as anything else I’ve read. Neal is the obvious choice.

  9. barneysbullet - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Dear Keith,

    I’m DIGGIN’ the smackdown on the New Rules offenders. Too good!

    Keep it up,

  10. Keith Arnold - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    @BPHoward — I didn’t see the point in writing the same column that existed in about a dozen places on the internet. We all knew exactly the same thing: Tee Shepard isn’t enrolled. Notre Dame announced that.

    I spent about four hours trying to get some insight on why he was gone. That included calling multiple people in and around the program, talking to sources, getting a comment from ND, and doing other things that take time.

    If you’re looking for breaking news — or quick, one-line comments — follow me on Twitter. But I’d much rather write what Tee Shepard leaving means, and give you some insight into why it happened, then be one of the first people to regurgitate a press release from ND.

    • nudeman - Mar 15, 2012 at 10:24 PM

      You’re NOT going to leave us hanging on that, ARE YOU? If you spent several hours tapping all your sources and researching WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT?

      Of all the things I’ve seen, this is what makes most sense:
      1) Tee had been partying, not attending classes, missing football functions. Given that it’s mid term, if true about his grades, the timing lines up.

      2) Sent out some tweets that indicated the girls in SB weren’t as likely to give it up as the Fresno ladies. This would explain the “didn’t fit in socially” angle.

      • Keith Arnold - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        I don’t think it’s fair — or correct — to assume that this is a partying/girls/twitter. The story will likely come out sooner than later, but everyone is keeping a really tight lid on this thing. Everything I can report, I’ve written. When I have more, I’ll post it.

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