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After return to campus, Lynch quits football program

Apr 13, 2012, 12:29 PM EDT

aaron-lynch-notre-dame

After a swirl of rumors, an excused absence, a long weekend with family, and a return to football, defensive end Aaron Lynch has decided to leave the Irish football program, with plans to transfer from after the spring semester. The loss is a blow to the Irish defense, with Lynch counted on to be the team’s best pass rusher.

“Aaron recently approached me about his desire to leave Notre Dame and return to Florida,” head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “I’ve always known and appreciated the affinity Aaron has for his home in Florida. However, the stark reality is you can’t make it at Notre Dame if your head and heart are not here. I am proud of the effort Aaron made in the classroom and on the field at Notre Dame. I wish him all the best in the future.”

After a string of rumors that reached a boil last weekend, Lynch also released a statement through the sports information department.

“I want to thank Coach Kelly for giving me this great opportunity to attend Notre Dame and be part of the Fighting Irish football family,” Lynch said. “This was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, but I want to go back home to Florida. I’m grateful to Coach Kelly for understanding and allowing me to return home.”

There’s no question that the loss of Lynch on the field is a potentially devastating. Lynch lead the Irish in sacks and doubled the next closest Irish defender in quarterback hits, and looked poised to have a breakthrough sophomore season. While he plays a position where there’s plenty of quality depth, as a pass rusher, Lynch’s skills were unrivaled.

That said, while every coach would put on a brave face, there was resolve in head coach Brian Kelly’s words, evident in a press conference where he made Lynch’s decision a black-or-white issue. In a program that’s a pressure-filled and unique as Notre Dame’s, there’s no use trying talk any player into staying if he’s not into it.

“There’s a point where you’re either in or your not,” Kelly said. “When we’re recruiting, we’re laying our cards on the table. Here’s who we are, this is what you’re going to get when you come here. We’re not going to say, ‘You don’t have to live in the dorms.’ No, you’ve got to live in the dorms. We’re not going to say, ‘Hey, it’s easy in the classroom, don’t worry about it.’ We don’t say, ‘Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t snow here.’ The fact of the matter is, when you’re opened up like that, then you have to be that same way in the program, and we wish him the best.”

There’s long been rumors that Lynch has missed family, friends, and a girlfriend in Florida. While his mother moved to Ohio to be closer to her son, Kelly did acknowledge that these winter months of freshman year — like they do to so many college underclassmen — were when Lynch struggled. After giving Lynch a long weekend to reflect on being at Notre Dame and what he wanted to do with his future, Lynch and Kelly discussed his departure Thursday evening and Friday morning.

“Some of it is you’ve got a guy that’s young and you want to see him mature,” Kelly said. “And then you hit a point that it’s not about growing up, it’s where your heart is.”

Kelly was steadfast in stating that this won’t effect the morale of the team. “If this were doubles tennis, it might,” he quipped. And insiders close to the program have commented that Lynch never fully clicked with his teammates, with his bravado, and emotional outbursts — Lynch led the team in personal fouls last season — rubbing many players the wrong way.

Lynch’s future will be interesting. Notre Dame will likely control where Lynch can end up, and with Florida being mentioned in both coach and player’s statements, you can bet that he’ll only be released to schools in the sunshine state, squashing any Urban Meyer or Ohio State speculation. After a no-holds-barred recruiting war with Florida State, and retribution sought during the Seminoles recruitment of Ronald Darby, it’ll be interesting if the Irish release Lynch to the Seminoles. Lynch could likely end up at South Florida next season, where former Irish coach Skip Holtz mans the sidelines.

There’s little question Lynch will play in the NFL some day, and the decision to transfer away from South Bend could delay that eventuality. While any program that ends up with Lynch will file for an exemption and hope for immediate eligibility (like the Irish got with running back Amir Carlisle), it’s difficult not to look down on a decision made by an 18-year-old, and shake your head at its foolishness.

Yet football coaches have always talked about the forever unbeaten recruiter: the high school girlfriend. In this era of social networking and over-sharing, Lynch’s difficulties being away have been well chronicled, often times by Lynch himself. While the initial tidal wave of shock and anger from Irish fans is heaped on what looks like a petulant decision, Lynch isn’t the first or the last to make a decision that has generations older than him scratching their head.

Still, the polished head coach might have tipped his hand and shown his true feelings when he opened his impromptu media session. Stated quite clearly, from the very start, Brian Kelly’s opening words were likely his truest.

“As you know, Aaron Lynch has quit the football team.”

111 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Michael Steinberger - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    No question this is a blow on the field. But if the kid was the cancer we’re now hearing he was (truth or spin?), his departure should remove a load from the rest of the team and someone else will step it up as a result. They might not be Lynch, but it takes eleven guys working together anyway.

    I agree with the poster who spoke about how this is another example of how the landscape has changed. You can’t help but look at the four- and five-star whiffs and decommits from the last recruiting cycle, and now this, and conclude that there’s a disconnect. Apparently, the prosect of an ND degree doesn’t resonate the same for a lot of these kids who think they’re guaranteed an NFL future anyway.

    Short sighted? Of course it is. But it’s the new reality. How the program can overcome these headwinds and still return to prominence is quite the challenge, and the mountain just got a touch steeper.

    • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Lynch left the team?
      When? Why? How? WTF?

      0-12 this year

  2. ndrules77 - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    While I do not blame Brian Kelly for Lynch’s departure, Im getting a little tired of ND fans repeatedly beating the drum of Notre Dame being the greatest place in the world and if a kid leaves, it’s obviously his loss. I love Notre Dame tons of my family went there, it is a special place but losing Greenbery, Shepard and Lynch in a three month span is more than just kids not being able to live up to the ND standard. We should be incredibly proud of our graduation rate and the level of class our players do carry, but we all know that graduate rates don’t necessarily win football games.

    And as if I need to remind anyone on this board, out record for the last 18 years has been way less than elite. Im not saying dumb down the standards necessarily or lower the level of recruit we go after, but we just lost one of the best defensive players in the country and Im tired of hearing, “Hes just not Notre Dame material.” Maybe we need to change the material. How do you think this looks to other recruits in talent heavy warm areas like Florida, Texas, California? You know other recruiters will use Lynch as an example of players not being happy in ND. I can hear the message board response now, “ND doesnt need those type of kids?” REALLY? You mean the kids that win national championships ever year? We don’t need those? I am not saying that ND is not special but maybe its time we change our attitude about this program to right the ship a bit here. I still like Brian Kelly and he’s won with WAY less talent than this. But this ND exceptionalism is going to get us no where.

    • ndgoldandblue - Apr 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Are any of you surprised by this? So many sports pundits keep asking, “When will Notre Dame football return to glory?” I’m sorry to say it, but it’s never going to happen. I’ve known it for years, but these examples of player defection (Shepard, Greenberry, Lynch) just prove it.

      Everything has changed in college football. Notre Dame was great when fewer and fewer high school students went to college. The ones who went had to be good students. Nowadays, it seems like everyone who graduates from high school goes to college. And if you are an exceptional athlete, it doesn’t matter how unintelligent you are. Now, colleges and universities have a plethora of developmental classes. This makes it easier for high school athletes to get in somewhere.

      Another thing to consider is the lifestyle of college football players in today’s landscape. The players, if they’re good, are treated like rock stars. It’s pretty tough for a player to feel like a rock star at Notre Dame. Why would a supremely talented football player come to Notre Dame when he knows that NFL glory surly awaits him? Let’s see what he can expect at Notre Dame:
      1) A small city in a cold part of the country. (The weather’s awful and there’s nothing to do. Wow…and people are surprised when student-athletes pass up Notre Dame for USC.)
      2) Academic standards that are incredibly rigorous and demanding. (Hard to have much of a night life when you have to study all of the time.)
      3) Forced residence in a dormitory. Frankly, I liked the dorms when I went to college, but I had much more fun when I lived in a house with roommates.

      I could just imagine TJ Jones or Davaris Daniels hosting a hot-shot high school wide receiver. If they were honest, their pitch would probably go something like this: “Yeah, you have to live in the dorms, but at least there’s a lot to d-. Okay, so there isn’t much to do, but at least you have a lot of free ti-. Okay, so you spend all of your free time studying, but at least the weather’s wa-. Okay, so the weather sucks, but at least you’d be playing for a team that could win a national cha-.”

      Here’s what they’re selling. A degree from Notre Dame means that you will receive one of the best educations in the country, and you can use that degree to get a great career that will last you until retirement. So, if the NFL doesn’t work out, you have a great degree to fall back on.

      That pitch would work on me. It’s just not working for the top-end talent in the country. They don’t have the maturity or the foresight to know what’s best for them, but they don’t care. They want to live it up while they’re in college. They want course loads with easy classes and sunshine and beautiful girls and clubs and boat parties with sports boosters. Whatever happens afterward, they’ll cross that bridge when they get there. Those guys aren’t coming to Notre Dame.

      • kgirish - Apr 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        That pitch would work for me too. I’m pissed Lynch left the program and maybe he makes millions someday…but if you make millions..you spent millions..we’ll do a check on this guy in 20 yrs and see if he regrets leaving ND. thank God for beer… rant rant rant

      • gtizzo - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:12 PM

        I’m tired of people who think they are in the head of 18 and 19 year old kids. People who think ND is under some mystic spell that causes kids to leave the program. The academic standards argument well if you can’t handle the fact ND has academic standards then don’t coach there it is that simple. This falls directly on Brain Kelly if he couldn’t handle the academic standards at ND he should have never taken the job. Plus you can’t tell no football player at ND has never heard the word “tutor” before? Then comes the weather…how does this make sense? ND can’t change the weather in South Bend, the weather isn’t ND’s fault why would kids hold it against them? Brady Hoke has no problem getting kids to Michigan, and I’m sure Urban “for my health” Myer won’t have problem at Ohio State. Nothing to do in South Bend? Even been to Gainesville, Tuscaloosa, Tallahassee or even Norman. I can assure you there is nothing to do in any of those cities either. Gainesville and Tallahassee are ghost towns during summer and spring break. There is one city with lots to do, has great weather, and the campus is 40 percent female. Major attractions are only an hour away and so is the beach. The place is Orlando, the campus is UCF interestingly enough they don’t get a single 5 star recruit. Maybe that is because these are kids and not migratory birds!

      • gtizzo - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:24 PM

        I remember a program that went from a 2 win season to a BCS bowl win in 5 years. The program has academic standards, high ones in fact. They had been getting killed on the recruiting trail by a program in the same state. They also have a number one overall draft pick to there name or will. Got a guess?

        The program Stanford, The coach Jim Harbaugh.

        There is also the fact that sometimes good things take time. Need proof? Go look at the first 6 years at Virginia Tech and Frank Beamer. Trust me you won’t be impressed.

      • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        This is one of the best posts I’ve read on this board.

        Ever.

        It perfectly encapsulates the challenges ND faces and the dramatic change in the college football landscape over the last 30-40 years.

        I’m sorry to say you’re probably right about them never returning to glory.

  3. ndschwapp - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    As the brother of a former ND player I understand why he left the program ND is boring unless its football season and you cant compete with schools like texas florida usc ect he got home sick and left lets move on

    • ndschwapp - Apr 13, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      When I said cant compete I ment with the Weather

    • moresteelers - Apr 13, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      I am sure USC is fun its in L.A. and Texas is in Austin which is a very nice city, but UF that is a very boring town so is FSU, trust me I have spent lots of time in both.

      • ndschwapp - Apr 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        as a whole the state of florida is better than Indy nobody goes to indy for spring break and FYI florida state pays there players thats why they have top 5 classes every year

  4. moresteelers - Apr 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    This move was totally a young kid thinking with his hormones and missing his GF in the bedroom. UF and FSU are nothing more than party schools unless your getting a medical, law or enginerring degree. There is nothing to do in either of these 2 small cities when school is out. Yes the weather is nice if your used to being in very humid climates.

    • prophetjcb - Apr 14, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      There might be nothing to do when school is OUT, but believe me, on and off campus, party school destinations like Talahassee and Gainesville are going to be a lot more appealing (and warm) to almost any kid, especially a kid born and raised in FL, than living in a dorm at Notre Dame.

  5. jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    This is going to sound really cynical but I wonder if some of the phenoms actually want to have to sit for a year once they transfer. They are all on track for a big payday in the NFL, so maybe they don’t need to risk injury by playing Navy in Dublin. They eliminate 1/3 of their risk by transferring.

  6. turknd - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Did anyone reference Friday the 13th or did it happen yesterday?

  7. mtflsmitty - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Lots of interesting stuff here today, and once I heard the news I had to log on earlier than normal to enjoy the banter.

    Fnc, I thought of you first when I heard the news, and laughed a bit. Too bad “your contacts on campus” was a ruse. You would have looked like a total beast right now.

    Goat, enjoyed your comments about knowing where your gf was by end of fall semester. Good stuff. Also, yanking poor Keith’s chain on TRs future at DE was well played.

    Nude, I’m surprised you can’t connect the dots on Ratherbe’s point. I’m pretty sure he remarking on life unpredictability and God’s plan for us all that can be so hard to understand.

    Finally, my take…
    What we are seeing here (lynch, Darby, shepherd, greenberry) is the effects of BKs efforts to recruit the very best talent possible. Instead of settling for the algorhythmic “ND Recruit Calculation” BK is trying to find a way to make some of these guys work. Maybe a bit of an experiment. And with all experiments there will be failures. I’d much rather have a guy willing to try new things even though marked by failure, than those poor unfortunate souls who know neither the sorrow of failure nor the glory of victory. (paraphrased quote by T Roosevelt)

    “Kelly was right to go after Lynch in the first place. He was right to have his assistants stage a loose reenactment of “Jerry Maguire” in a San Antonio hotel last winter, out-foxing Florida State with midnight recruiting pitches.”

    • prophetjcb - Apr 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      I could not agree more. That Kelly got this kid from FSU in the first place, especially with all that is working against them (better climate, GF, party school, generous academic accommodations/outright cheating, etc. at Florida State) was nothing short of a major coup for ND. It didn’t work out and the kid couldn’t adjust; we all move on. We may have lost Lynch, but the fact that he gave it a shot says a lot.

    • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      smitty
      First, I connected the dots just fine but was reacting more to idratherbe’s admonishing me for – OMG – having an opinion.

      Second, totally agree on your comment about BK’s recruiting. As I said in another post his recruiting Tee, Darby, Greenberry and Lynch (as well as Tuitt, Ishaq and others still there) was the equivalent of swinging for the fences. I have no problem with that. He might ultimately change his approach, but he’s trying to get A+ talent.

      Last point, from things I’ve read elsewhere I honestly don’t know how he ever got Greenberry and Tee through Admissions. No idea how much of what I’ve read is true but these two kids don’t seem to even be college material, let alone ND material.

      • bernhtp - Apr 14, 2012 at 6:46 PM

        Greenberry switching at the last minute was due to his cousin already knowing he didn’t belong there. The experiment failed and the bar has been raised.

  8. mtflsmitty - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I live in TX now so it’s with extreme pain that I credit a Longhorn fan with the most lucid thoughts on this matter…

    Burntorangehorn from the college football board said…

    A lot of people are speculating about why he’s leaving, but really it looks like his stated desire to be closer to home is very plausible. There’s also the possibility that he might not feel like he’s a good fit for Notre Dame as a school, and that it actually has little or nothing to do with how well he fits the football program. Kids transfer for a lot of reasons, some good, some bad, but it’s not necessarily the case that he’s quitting, Kelly drove him away, or any of these other wild guesses.

  9. brendanunderscoreg - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    If we lose the NBC contract who wants to point to this day as a major reason why?

    • brendanunderscoreg - Apr 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      I didn’t either. Just wanted to jump on board the “sky is falling” theme we have going.

      • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        I’m in on that.
        I’ve got them at 0-12 now that Lynch is gone.
        If they somehow make it to a bowl, make that 0-13

  10. tony34343434 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Can’t blame the academic standards, Stanford did well the last couple of years.
    he is a kid and sometimes kids get homesick. it is a huge loss for us though, it will be tough to fill those shoes. He had a lot of upside, i guess some downside also. Lets not knock ND though, it is one of the greatest schools in the country with a great tradition. Lets not make USC out to be paradise, it is in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the country and some of the other schools mentioned also have flaws. Time to move on and go with what we have. We still have tons of talented Sophomores, that will play and do well. One guy can make an impact but it doesnt make a team. look at Boise and TCU, they win with less talent, we have much more talent we can do it too, coach the guys we have BK and glad you stayed classy not like old LES.

  11. idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Off topic, but this website doesn’t have a general forum….

    Ol’ Charlie has 3 irishmen now with Cryst, Ragone, and Anthony McDonald. So, this begs the obvious question….who is anthony mcdonald?

  12. 1historian - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Good luck kid – hope everything turns out well for you.

  13. irishfan81 - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Wow, all of these negative comments and an article that says he quit the program. People need to remember, these players are just kids. They are at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Maybe he made the wrong choice to start with. Does it really matter? Football is just a game. Irish fans are irate with Les Miles for taking shots at Gunner. How is it any different from what people are doing now with Aaron?

    If he wants to be closer to family, why punish him. Just show some distance and respect for Aaron and his family. I wish him nothing but luck in his ACADEMIC career, since his purpose is to get a degree. If he does well in football wherever he goes, more props to him. Just don’t let these negative comments get to you.
    Signed a true Irish fan.

  14. mikey1977 - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Great no QB….no defense….awesome

  15. ndgoldandblue - Apr 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    gtizzo, you make a sound argument, and I’d love to agree with you, but every single institution that you mentioned has a couple of strikes against them. But not all three. Yes, Ann Arbor and Columbus are in northern states that have bad weather, but those are two great college towns. South Bend just isn’t a college town. Just think of Lawrence, Kansas. No one goes there for the culture, but there is plenty for a KU student to do. And, yes, Stanford has high academic standards. It’s also located in a perfect part of California. My cousin lived a half an hour from the Stanford campus. The weather is great down there. And yeah, Tuscaloosa, Tallahassee and Norman are not big-time cities, but they are warmer. Plus, those schools don’t have the academic standards that Notre Dame has. All I’m saying is some schools have a couple of strikes against them, but Notre Dame has three strikes. The one thing that Notre Dame had in the past that it could bank on was winning. They don’t have that anymore. I’m not saying that Notre Dame should change. The university has no control over the weather or the city it’s located in. They do have control over their academic standards, but I don’t want them to change. That’s what makes the University of Notre Dame great. But, for anyone to complain and think that the Fighting Irish should be in the National Championship hunt on a regular basis (or at all) is just naive. It’s never going to happen again because the college football landscape has changed that much. Seriously, how can a college graduate score a 4 on the wonderlic? You don’t need intelligence to play college football, only athletic ability. With the standards of LSU and other SEC teams, Notre Dame just can’t compete. I’m a young man, and I can guarantee that if I live a long life and retire a grandfather, I will still never see another Notre Dame national championship in football.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 14, 2012 at 1:43 AM

      you can “guarantee” they won’t win a national championship? Pick ANY year EVER in college football and I can show you 12 teams that were one or two plays away from playing in a national championship game. ANY year!

      Boise State, Arkansas, Utah, etc. etc….

      One missed tackle, one third down stop, one field goal, one timeout called quicker. This game TURNS on one play dozens of times every weekend.

      You’re right, Notre Dame isn’t an elite program, and maybe they won’t return to greatness, but to say that you can guarantee they will never play or win a National Championshp again is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!

      REEEE-DIC-YOOOOOOOO-LUS!

      • ndgoldandblue - Apr 14, 2012 at 8:33 AM

        You’re right, and when was the last time Notre Dame was one or two plays from being in the national championship? 1993. Look, I’m trying to defend my favorite football team and it’s head coach. Everyone on here has been up in arms over two consecutive 8-5 years. Too many of the posters on this blog expect greatness out of this team, and their patience only lasts two seasons. Then, it’s boot the coach out the door, bring in someone new who needs to install a new system, and see how that coach does. As a fanbase, we are too short-sighted, and we expect too much.

        I have no ill will toward Lynch. I wish him well. Neither do I think his departure and the departure of Shepard along with the decommitments of Greenberry, Darby, and Harrell are Coach Kelly’s fault. They just didn’t want to be at Notre Dame. Frankly, I think Coach Kelly is a hell of a salesman when it comes to recruiting. And these recruits seem to love his sales pitch. But, they’re not so thrilled with the product once they’ve had a chance to look at it closely.

        All I’m saying is, be happy with 8-5, be elated with 10-2, and don’t expect 13-0. I’m guessing that there are thousands of Cubs fans who will go their whole life without seeing them win a World Series. Does that mean that they’re not fans anymore? No, they remain loyal. Most of them have come to expect that their team won’t win it all. The sooner we realize this about the Irish, the happier we will be as a fanbase.

    • 1historian - Apr 14, 2012 at 6:31 AM

      the hubris of the young

      you are forgiven

      Best wishes from:

      an old fart

  16. 1historian - Apr 14, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    In previous posts I’ve read that Lynch has a 3.0 grade average and given that he is staying until the end of the semester it looks as if the academics are important to him – this speaks well of him.

    ndgoldandblue – your statement that as long as ND has high academic standards it won’t be able to attract the very best is one I disagree with. Virtually every recruit in the last few seasons has cited academics as reason #1 for committing to ND.

    there are a number of posts who NOW reveal that the word is that Lynch was a cancer on the program and we are better off without him. I say just wish him the best – he wanted to go home. Anyplace can be a lonely place if you’re 19, lovesick and homesick.

    At times like this I like to think of Chris Zorich – he was admitted to the University even though he was not academically qualified and he turned out well – he anchored the defense on the 1988 NC team, played for DA BEARSS, and then he went to Law School.

    I would venture that those of us (like me) who love to sit back and criticize come from much more comfortable surroundings than these kids do and we really DON’T have a clue as to what their lives were like before coming to ND.

    And they’re STILL just – kids.

    OMT – We lost Lynch because he was homesick and that’s the reason we got Kiel.

  17. norcalirish - Apr 14, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    No disrespect, but this kid is a star ballplayer and he’s only with ONE chick? That’s what your 40s are for, playboy. Get this kid a ride on the Sluttle over to SMC, problem solved. The weather might still be awful, but it’s tough to feel cold when you’re at the bottom of a pile of pillow fighting Belles.

    Just sayin.

    8:)

  18. yaketyyacc - Apr 14, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    yes, miami u. has surfing 101, and suntanning 102. ND has igloo building 101, and dogsledding 102.
    so wherever you go, it is a matter of maturing. we all missed home, the girlfriend and family and friends. 99.9% adjusted. aaron belongs to the one tenth. Kid, you can run away from ND, you can run away from Miami U., BUT you can’t run away from yourself. your talent exhibited itself in the sacks, your immaturity exhibited itself in the personal fouls. your talent won maybe two games, your immaturity lost more. time to grow up aaron. we sure will miss your talent at ND, still, if you mature and becone a great husband and dad, we will be cheering for that. good luck son.

  19. ndfaithful - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    After watching and listening to coach Kelly’s post-practice press conference, I was both shocked and disappointed about this news. Lynch is a fantastic athlete. Perhaps he’s a trouble maker. Perhaps he’s a great young man. I have almost no way of knowing.

    One thing that is apparent and that gives me hope is this: Coach Kelly has resolve. I’m glad Keith pointed that out in the article. This is a quality that will ultimately help the team and the program. People always ask ‘when will ND return to glory’. I don’t believe it will happen when ND starts catoring to athletes that don’t really want to be there. Or athletes that don’t truly buy into the team concept. I believe, as it is evident that coach Kelly believes, that it will happen when the right people get together and do it the right way. I applaud and respect the mental toughness and integrity that BK is bringing to the program.

    Ultimately, I think it’s best for everyone. Lynch’s talents will be sorely missed on Saturdays. But the attitude, appreciation for the school, and spirit of his successors will be the traits that bring ND back to glory someday. Hopefully in my lifetime!

  20. bearcatirishfan - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Hello all as a u of Cincinnati graduate I just want to say I’ve seen first hand what BK can do. If he can make that a bcs contender he can do it T notre dame. Also everyone remember Jim harbough’s first two or three seasons at Stanford were losing records. I think we beat them the year chunky went 3 and 9. Have some patience.

  21. jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I may be the exception to the rule on this board but I’m not so consumed by a return to glory for this program. I enjoy following the program and watching the team whatever the outcome. I especially like the fact that the school emphasizes the “student” part of the student/athlete equation and does things “the right way” for the betterment of these kids over the long term. If we are the salmon swimming upstream against the tide of a changing college football sea, then I say so be it, somebody has to be the standard bearer for what this is really all about. If this leaves me with a Cubs’ fan mentality, well, I can deal with that. I will continue to support this team no matter what.

    • txbeej - Apr 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Michigan x3, Michigan State x2, North Carolina, Stanford x3, Pittsburgh x2, Boston College, Syracuse, Navy x2, UConn, Tulsa, USF

      Notre Dame is 29-22 over the last four seasons. 18 of the 22 losses were at the hands of the teams I’ve listed above. The only one of those teams that is typically competitive with ND recruiting-wise is Michigan. Stanford has made a big leap the last couple of years and trounced us in the last recruiting cycle, but note their winning big preceded that.

      That’s not any sort of sea change. That’s just consistently poor coaching.

      • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        We can debate the “consistently poor coaching” thing endlessly, to no avail. So let’s not.

        Your post ignores the SEC which is where the real sea change has taken place. Money, money and more money fuels their approach to athletics, especially CFB, the biggest revenue producer. So they lower academic standards, look the other way on “details” like going to class and booster groups with fistfuls of money. There are a few northern schools who apply that approach (ahem, tOSU) as well, but all other things being equal the SEC schools will always have an advantage due to weather and babes.

      • txbeej - Apr 14, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        No, it doesn’t ignore that fact. It acknowledges that Notre Dame regularly loses to teams that not only aren’t in the SEC, but don’t even have as much talent as Notre Dame. Whatever advantages LSU has in today’s game doesn’t really help Tulsa or USF or Navy, none of whom I imagine have as many four star players in their respective histories as Notre Dame has its on roster in any given year. This SEC crap is a red herring. When Notre Dame is finishing 9-3 every year with losses to USC, Alabama, and Texas, then we can talk about the greater college football landscape and Notre Dame’s place in it.

        And between the befuddling losses that have continued under his reign and his inability to craft game plans that de-emphasize his various head-case, noodle-armed quarterbacks and lean on what have been pretty strong running games, I feel confident asserting that Kelly’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

        Anyway, like I say, a lot of you deniers will be moving a lot closer to my position by the end of this next season. Get ready for more Rees and a hell of a lot more passing. And get ready for more losing.

      • nudeman - Apr 14, 2012 at 8:05 PM

        tx
        Agree re: the coaching. As bad as Davie, Ty and Charlie were, I don’t think any coached as poorly as BK did in 2012. From running off Dayne Crist in game 1, to game 13 with FSU where they scored exactly 1 offensive TD; had them on the ropes with their D, only to let them off the mat in the 2nd half. In between there was the final drive vs. UM, coming out lifeless against Wake, Pitt, and USC (!!) and nearly leading the NCAA in penalties and turnover margin.

        Now another year with a guy playing QB who belongs in the MAC (sorry Keith). Frankly,: AH and EG must not be that good. I don’t see how TR takes this big jump this year that everyone is predicting. It’s only been a little over 3 months since he stunk up the place in the bowl game. Just turning 20 years old has made him Joe Montana? Reading the playbook all winter? Adding 2 lbs of new muscle? C’mon.

        Having said all that, I’m still in BK’s corner because he’s done enough things right to earn a “pass” for last year. But he only gets one of those or the wolves will be howling for his hide.

    • ndgoldandblue - Apr 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      That’s all I’m saying. I’m right with ya. Hey, if the Irish win another national championship, it’ll probably be like the Dallas Mavericks of last year: a team that no one expected to do much who surprises everyone by winning it all. It just won’t be expected like it would with Alabama or Texas.

  22. dickasman - Apr 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Guys as of today, I’ve decided to step down from nd elitist football step and lower my standards and expectations of the football team. Just at least beat the 2nd tier teams, please that’s all I ask.

    • txbeej - Apr 14, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Well now that’s a nice dream, but in a world where LSU signs 110 kids every four years, I don’t see how we can possibly beat Tulsa.

  23. frenchy121212 - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Come on Irish fans. It’s not the 50′s anymore. It’s over for you guys. Admit it. Championships are over. Sorry. It’s your standards. Not your coaches. Im sure being an alum is great just don’t expect people with your intelligence and slightly more athletic ability to win championships. The dumber you are on defense is a good thing not a bad one.

  24. mtb1996 - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Relax people, think back to when you were 18 years old… These kids, although built like men, are just that…kids. I made plenty of stupid decisions at that age. I was a transfer student that graduated ND in 1996 and after getting accepted, I almost didn’t enroll there because of…GASP… a girl. Thank God I did enroll for that would have been a huge mistake, but the point is I was young and foolish. Is this a foolish decision for Lynch, who the hell knows, but its his decision to make and I applaud BK for having the class to wish him well. As for next season, I will tune in and continue to be hopeful as I have every disappointing year since 1993 when I sat in ND stadium and watched BC kick a last minute field goal to undue our undefeated season, beating of #1 FSU, and 22 point 4th quarter comeback. Nothing has been more painful than that day and I keep coming back for more.

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