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USF announces Aaron Lynch transfer

Apr 23, 2012, 6:18 PM EDT


It appears that the Aaron Lynch saga is officially over.

Lynch, who walked away from the Irish football team in the middle of spring practice, visited USF this weekend while his former teammates were playing in the 83rd Blue-Gold game. The soon-to-be-sophomore, who led the Irish in sacks last season with 5.5, is still enrolled in classes at Notre Dame, but has apparently made up his mind that he’s leaving at the end of the spring semester.

While rumors swirled this weekend, it appears Lynch’s decision has been made. The official website for the South Florida Bulls made this announcement today, all but finalizing the move:

TAMPA – The University of South Florida will add transfer Aaron Lynch to its roster for the 2012 season, head coach Skip Holtz has announced. Lynch, a Cape Coral, Fla. native, intends to transfer from Notre Dame after earning Freshman All-America honors during his true freshman season in 2011.

“With Aaron originally being from Florida, we’re very familiar with the kind of player he is,” Holtz said. “Aaron had a great freshman season at Notre Dame and we’re excited to welcome him into the Bulls family.”

Lynch played in 12 games for Notre Dame last season, including the Bulls season-opening victory against the Fighting Irish, and started six. He posted 33 tackles, 5.5 sacks, seven TFL, 14 pressures, two PBU and a forced fumble en route to first-team Freshman All-America honors. Lynch probably had his most productive game of the season against Michigan St., when he posted five tackles, a sack, six pressures and a forced fumble. He also started in the Champs Sports Bowl against Florida St. and tallied five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a pressure.

A highly-decorated prep player at Island Coast High School, Lynch was one of the top-ranked players coming out of high school in 2010, rated as high as the sixth-best prospect. He capped his stellar career with 31 solo tackles and 10.5 sacks en route to being named a U.S. Army All-American.

Lynch is expected to enroll in summer school at South Florida in June. After watching Amir Carlisle gain immediate eligibility, it’s expected that USF will begin immediate work on getting a similar waiver.

Heading into the weekend, it appeared there was a sliver of hope that Lynch would reconsider his decision. Between his mother’s social media outreach to former Irish defensive end Justin Tuck, and a few conversations Lynch had with parents and people close to the program, outsiders hoped that Lynch would come to his proverbial senses.

One person with no interest of holding out for Lynch was Irish head coach Brian Kelly. From the moment Lynch and Kelly discussed his departure after his brief visit home over Easter weekend, Kelly has been consistent with his sincere ability to turn the page and move quickly past the loss, a potentially immeasurable one to the Irish pass rush.

Of course, with Lynch nothing is complete until he’s on campus in Tampa this June. But it appears Lynch’s path to the NFL will no longer be a direct flight from South Bend.


  1. bernhtp - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Completely expected. The Ms. Lynch, Justin Tuck, etc. had approximately zero chance of going anywhere.

    I wish him luck at USF. I doubt he will get back his year of eligibility from the NCAA.

  2. nudeman - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I seriously am surprised. Thought he was being impulsive and would come to his senses.

    Just glad it’s over. Time for someone else to step into his shoes.

  3. dickasman - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I wonder what the real problem was here. Pure boredom and lack of alcoholic finga blasteees??? Originally, I had thought it may have been grades related. He’s still in classes though. I have a feeling this guy won’t end up at a carwash washing cars along dingleberry. Good luck to the guy. At least he gave us a solid year and lots of hope in which he promptly pooped all over it.

    I hope he tells what the problem is/was one day in an interview. Just curious for myself.


    • 1historian - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      dick – to quote an old cliche – it takes one to know one.

      Get over it – the kid is gone.

  4. jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Apparently, Lynch’s mother tweeted that the real reason he left was, in fact, a lack of alcoholic finga blastees. Weird right?

  5. notherpoint - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Brian Kelly does not want any player, regardless of the talent level, associated with his lockerroom.
    If your hart is not in what he’s doing.

    you are dismissed no matter how much it hurts short term.

    . Lynch will play Sunday’s but he didn’t have the commitment that Coach Kelly expects out of every man on this team.

    Good luck AL. Stay out of trouble.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      “Lynch will play Sunday’s”…i’d keep my money in my pocket on that bet. Too many “talented” football players have found ways to NOT play on Sunday. I wish the kid well, but mentally, he’s not very focused.

      I don’t fault his decision to leave South Bend, but every major decision he’s made regarding his future over the past 2 years has been indecisive. He hasn’t shown any maturity yet, and that’s OK cause he’s a 19 year old kid. BUT, he’s gotta DECIDE to committ to an NFL future. Any reason to believe he’s done that yet?

      • nudeman - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Agree. Anything could happen between now and then
        Injury, loss of interest in football, or in his case an emotional implosion

        If anyone thinks he’s gonna’ go down there and everything will be just fine … wrong
        I saw the word “uncoachable” used to describe him numerous times

        Skip will have his hands full, and if he’s like his dad, he prob doesn’t take a lot of BS

        Tick, tick, tick …….

  6. irishking - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    What a disappointment. While ND is not a big party school by any means, one would have thought that Lynch would have known that when he initially enrolled.

  7. yllibnosredna - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    South Florida? Really? Why not Houston?

    • nudeman - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Apparently Lynch actually goes to class occasionally
      So he would have been an outcast at Houston

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        good stuff nudey :)

  8. nudeman - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    We’re 6-8 months away from hearing stories about him bitching about South Florida.

    Frankly I grew tired of hearing about his BS about ND on FB 6 months ago, long before there were any rumors of a transfer.

    I will resist the urge to say “You just made the dumbest move anyone in your position could have made” and instead I’ll just say:

    1) “Enjoy playing E Carolina, North Cuba State and Tallahassee U and NEVER being on TV”
    2) “Grow up”
    3) “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”


    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      North Cuba State is supposed to be tough this year. ‘cept a bunch of their kids were suspended for inFIDELity. Castro’s got ’em by the balls down there.

      • nudeman - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        Wish I’d thought of that one

    • mdonat02 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      This almost reminds me of Marcus Dupree from Oklahoma and what he did and his decission making.

      • irishdk - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Who’s Aaro- Marcus Dupree?

  9. ndrocks2 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    bye bye!!!

  10. 9irish - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Why is it that so many of the best athletes are complete prima donnas these days? We need more Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter’s out there. Kind of sad.

    • ndfanwabashman - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Yeah, we need more Ty Cobb’s, Pete Rose’s, Jack Tatum’s, Bill Romanowski’s, you know, the real throw back stand-up type role models.

      News flash, athletes have always thought they were important.

      I just hope Aaron Lynch is more Troy Aikman than Marcus Dupree

      • 9irish - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        Well yeah! I don’t think Lynch is going to be a seedy psychopath like those guys! I think he’ll do okay…might regret his decisions though. But, it’s his life.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        NEWS FLASH…Athletes are important….because we make them important. They are a major persuasion to society. That’s evident every time you turn on the TV or spend hours of your life reading blogs about 19 year old kids.

        Maybe the SHOULDN’t be important, but don’t pretent that they aren’t.

  11. brocklanders02 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Someone needed to tell him how much easier it is to get away with cheating on your girlfriend across state lines. I remember when I had my first GF, AL ya dummy.

  12. 1historian - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Good luck, kid

  13. idratherbeinsouthbend - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Off Topic… Just watched a Bob Davie post practice interview and he said multiple times “I’m not gonna kid anybody, we’re not very good”

    Freakin priceless!

    • 9irish - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:28 AM

      You know, I respect the guy, because obviously he is still a coach at heart. But that ESPN gig seemed to be going pretty well. The Lobos have always been a historically very bad team.

      • waydomer - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        Hard to respect a guy that threw the coach that recommended him for the job and one of the best offensive line coaches ever under the bus because of his own stupidity.

      • 9irish - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:51 PM

        yeah, I don’t even remember the details. I wasn’t a blogger then (was anyone?) He didn’t have a good tenure…and I was all for it when they hired him…and fired him.

      • bostonjan - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

        + 1 waydomer.

        I had the impression that Davie was supposed to be young, classy, preppie like image/face that ND wanted to promote “the brand” after the B.S about Lou and “Under the Tainted Dome”…and the AD (Wadsworth if I recall correctly) didn’t like the popularity commanded by Lou.

        When Davie fired Joe Moore, I couldn’t stand to even hear his voice – found myself watching games on tv and listening to the play by play on radio when espn broadcast Irish games. I don’t wish him harm, but find it hard to wish him well

  14. gtizzo - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    See ya Mr. Lynch. Next man in, Keith on another note can we get more recruiting updates when possible. I’m aware we are really early in the cycle, but it would be nice to see where the Irish are in getting new talent.

  15. kiopta1 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    I am just glad these games are over. Go ND!

  16. larrynamesauthor - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I’ve said for decades that college kids who bail on a program should have to repay the school for the money spent on them, and in cases like this one, the school taking a kid should have to pay the school he’s leaving. That might prevent these kids from moving around and leaving early for the pros. A contract is a contract, and nobody should get out of one without mutual agreement or without making kind of compensation. Never going to happen, though. So I wish Aaron Lynch all the luck in the world with South Florida, and I hope never regrets foregoing a degree from the prestigious university that Notre Dame is now, has been in the past, and will be in the future.

    • andy44teg - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      That’s not going to happen, especially when a college can yank a scholarship at the end of the year. At most schools, scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis, so expecting a kid to payback the school if he bails early is beyond hypocritical. Besides, you don’t think that Aaron Lynch made Notre Dame money while he was there for a year??….gimme a break. He’s probably a big reason why some defensive recruites gave ND a second look, also. I’ll bet one of the biggest reason we were able to steal Tuitt away from GT was that we were able to brag that we got Lynch.

    • runners00 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      I think this is a bad idea. The contract is actually year-over-year and schools can revoke scholarships based on performance and based on academics. Look at what happened to Joseph Agnew from Rice. And that was Rice!

      No. The players aren’t even paid, aside from the scholarships that the schools can revoke at the end of the year. And, true, many kids would not have been admitted to the schools they attend without football, but the schools themselves make millions off these kids. It should a common agreement that kids should be able to leave early provided that they lose a year of eligibility (the eligibility issue works because it penalizes the kid for leaving when the school had reserved a spot for the departing student). And, yes, if they can go and make millions of dollars in the NFL or NBA or whatever, they shouldn’t be criticized for earning the substantial sum of money right now.

  17. fnc111 - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Amir’s situation is totally different and Lynch thinks he is going to be granted a waiver because of weather? He ran his mouth and was quoted that’s why he left the ND program. If McCay at KU isn’t allowed to play this season then the NCAA can’t allow lynch to play.

    • bernhtp - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      You’re completely correct. Amir’s situation was unusual and I strongly suspect there were reasons for the waiver that were not made public. When things don’t add up, you’re probably missing some numbers.

      Lynch will not get a waiver based upon either of the reasons given: weather or girlfriend. I expect him to sit the year out and get increasingly restless. He is a moody guy and I doubt this will end when he arrives at USF. There will be more drama with Aaron unless he gets control of his demons.

      • nudeman - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

        What else could there have been that was left out?
        His family relocated to Indiana. He wanted to be near his family. .

        Admit I was surprised when the Amir waiver was granted, but it is significantly more legit than Lynch hating the weather and just wanting to be near his girlfriend (who will dump him – or vice versa – within 6 months)

        • bernhtp - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:52 PM

          I found the combination of the release from USC to ND and then the waiver for eligibility to be unusual. Amir clearly wanted out from USC badly, more than can be explained by his dad getting a new job. There seems to be more to the story than what I know.

          With that said, Amir seems like a great kid – an RKG – it’s really too bad his injury gave him a tough start. He didn’t look good on the sideline with his bad limp and single crutch. I really hope he recovers and does great.

  18. fnc111 - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM


    You couldn’t be more wrong about the New Mexico program. UNM has always been a solid program until they fired Rocky Long for no reason a few years back. They replaced him with Locksley and that guy took the team down the toilet because he was a terrible coach. Davie is going to build that thing up but it will take time. If he gets 2 or 3 wins this year it’s a good start. I will be rooting for UNM and KU. Interesting year in cfootball this year with a lot of story lines.

    • 9irish - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      that could be….I didn’t google anything. Just never been very mainstream. I know in my parents day (both from NM, they were notoriously bad! Like 60s and 70s). Point I was making is that it is not exactly an easy job to take over.

  19. rcali - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Good luck with that USF degree! Now the attention needs to turn to Kelly to find out why he keeps losing top recruits and players.

    • bernhtp - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      You increase your risk of losing guys when they were a marginal admission in the first place, e.g., Shepard. The fact is that Notre Dame is a different kind of place and is not suitable for most players (approximately 1/3 of ESPN 150 players can be recruited). It is academically rigorous, there are no gimme majors (no education, let alone phys ed), players live in dorms, serious rules (e.g., parietals), bad weather, no town with night life, etc. Even very smart normal-admit kids have a tough time and bust their butts. It’s doubly-hard for scholarship athletes, especially football players. Most top football players can’t do this, and when you stretch the admission rules, you risk losing some despite the heroic efforts expended to support them.

      • bostonjan - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        well said.

        also the risk of losing guys likely goes up when you’re recruiting players far from home and highly attractive to other schools (risk directly proportional to talent rating and distance from home).

        It’s one reason that I’m delighted with our success in landing studs from the Midwest, while I realize that ignoring FL, CA, and TX would be insane.

        I earned my Engineering degree @ ND waaaaay back when. Trust me it was a tough, butt busting endeavor – and I didn’t have the demands of being a student athlete.

        ND is not for everyone. If Aaron isn’t all in, it’s best for everyone involved to move on. However, if ND has any say in the matter, I would not release him without requiring him to sit out a year.

        • bernhtp - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

          I don’t know that there is a significant positive relationship between midwest location and success at Notre Dame. It would be a fairly simple study to conduct if you had the data. Even if there were, Notre Dame still needs to cast a wide geographical net due to its other recruiting limitations.

  20. irisheyesinsd - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Another angle not addressed: leaving his mom out in the cold. This kind, supporting mother moves from south Florida to Ohio so she can be near her son and help him get through this transition. How selfless of her. I don’t know Alice Lynch’s situation, but no doubt she unnecessarily burdened herself by uprooting and moving, maybe even leaving a job behind in FL to do so. She was more committed to AL’s success than he was! She begs him to stay at ND but he thinks of only himself and leaves her behind in OH. What is she going to do now? Quit her job and move back to FL? Who’s picking up that tab? Absolutely no consideration of AL’s part for his own family. Smooth move, butt head. What a selfish brat!

    • irisheyesinsd - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      If there is a hardship waiver granted to anyone, it should be Alice Lynch.

  21. danirish - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    This is a huge boost to the South Florida team. I hope the best for Lynch.


    • nudeman - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      I’d say there is a 50% chance that he’s a huge pain in the ass there too
      So no guarantee it’s a huge boost

      I personally feel nothing for Lynch. No contempt, no well wishes.

      By comparison I’m more concerned about everything else having to do with ND football
      Not guys who whined, cried about the weather and quit.

      • 9irish - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM

        kind of what I was saying before. Especially after he did one year there. Nobody in the military gets excused for missing their mom, their girlfriend, or because it is too damned cold. A free degree from UND…that’s a pretty rough life.

  22. atw34 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    I’m amazed at the anger directed at a 19 year old kid that didnt want to be at ND any longer. If he were a 3rd stringer, would some of you care as much…..probably not. ND will do just fine without him. Good luck Aaron!

    • bernhtp - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM

      I’m not angry, though a bit disappointed both for him and the football program. I do wish him well, but I do believe he has some issues to work on.

    • 9irish - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      anger? it’s disgust at the lack of discipline to take advantage of a golden opportunity. He can do whatever he wants. 19 year old kid? do you really want me to tell you the discipline of other 19 year old kids in this country right now and what they are doing? very bad example my friend.

  23. 1historian - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Prediction – Sometime this season that he is sitting out lynch will sit down of a Saturday afternoon and watch an ND game and say “damn! – what was I thinking?”

    • papadec - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:06 AM

      1historian – if not this season, sometime during his eligible playing years when the Irish are playing for the National Championship – and he’s not.

  24. swamann - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    @nudeman – Tallahassee U beat your butts in the Champs Bowl last year. Remember ?

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