May 28, 2013, 4:13 PM EDT
Since the revelation of Everett Golson‘s suspension from Notre Dame, not much had been clear about the future of the Irish’s starting quarterback. But after listening to head coach Brian Kelly, one thing now is: The door is wide open for Golson to return in the spring.
Kelly spoke briefly with the media Tuesday afternoon, the first time we’ve heard from him since the stunning news. And as you’d expect, the Irish head coach kept an even keel, something you’d expect from a guy that’s spent the better part of three decades coaching college football.
“In my 30 years in college football, it’s like being a dad,” Kelly said. “You’re disappointed, but you know these things happen. You want your players to be accountable.
“I’d say that there are defining moments in everybody’s life. Young kids make mistakes. Everett is going to take this and it’s truly going to be his defining moment. He’s going to grow and live and learn from his mistake.”
While logic points the starting quarterback job to veteran Tommy Rees, Kelly wasn’t ready to name a starter, pointing out that both Rees and fellow senior Andrew Hendrix had plenty of experience to draw on, and early-enrollee freshman Malik Zaire looked good in his fifteen spring practices.
But any worry that Kelly was closing the door on the quarterback that looked like the future of the next three seasons was put to bed quickly. There have been no discussions of transfers. No complaints about the suspension. The details of Golson’s exile are still coming into focus, but the quarterback’s commitment to the Irish is crystal clear.
“I know this,” Kelly said. “In my conversations with Everett and his family, it’s been whatever he needs to do, he’s going to do.”