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Navy Mailbag

Oct 31, 2013, 8:44 PM EDT

Louis Nix III AP

Let’s get to this week’s mailbag questions. Well done, people. Some good ones here.

obie1818: Keith, do you think we’ve turned the corner to be an elite program again? With the recruting and coaches in South Bend? I’m scared to say it but I feel like for the next 4 yrs a 3 loss yr will be a disappointment. I just can’t think of going back to 8-5? Thoughts?

Obie, Define elite. Because it’s been pretty well-chronicled at this point that the Irish are among the elite when you look at Ws and Ls over the past few seasons. Since opening the 2011 season 0-2, the Irish have the sixth-best winning percentage in college football, winning 26 of their last 32 games.

Probably a better gauge? The losses have come against Oklahoma, Michigan, Alabama, Florida State, Stanford and USC. You can get pouty about a lot of things, but not one of those teams is an embarrassing loss.

If three loss seasons are disappointments, than you might have answered your own question.

jcmpa: What’s next for Tommy Rees? Do you think an NFL team will give him a shot? Chad Pennington had a nice career as a high IQ/weak arm QB, could Rees follow that path?

If I had to guess, Rees will spend training camp with an NFL team next year. If he doesn’t stick around on a bench, it’ll be a coach’s life for Tommy.

Comparing Rees to Pennington is a bit of a stretch right now. I get the mobility/arm-strength angle, but Pennington finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was a guy that went in the first round of the NFL Draft. Rees isn’t likely to get drafted.

bernhtp: Golson: Training with George Whitfield in San Diego for around six months can’t be cheap. From where does the money or subsidy come? Because Everett was expelled from ND and not currently enrolled, are there any NCAA regulations that cover payments/subsidies for such training or a contract about reimbursement from future income? Given the public profile, I’m sure ND is extra-scrupulously clean here, but I wanted to have some insight into the operative rules and limitations.

Good question, Bern. Having spoken with George Whitfield literally today, I’ve got some insight into that. Whitfield doesn’t just train NFL stars or elite college players. He trains 4th graders and junior high schoolers. Golson spent ten weeks with Whitfield (he went home today), the longest he’s had to ever work one-on-one with a college player.

What it cost, I’m not sure. But it’s not the ridiculous number many are expecting it to be. And the Golson family is saving roughly $60,000 a year on college tuition. Spending some a chunk of money to invest in your son’s professional future isn’t the worst investment in the world.

I don’t know exactly what the NCAA says about relationships like that, but I’m guessing this was triple-checked before the plan was enacted.

scottatnd: Keith, how tall is Alex Flanagan? Does she ever ask about me?

I haven’t pulled out the tape measure, but I’m thinking she’s about six-feet. And no, sorry Scott.

ndgoldandblue: Keith, I was at the debacle in the Meadowlands in 2010. Do you think the Midshipmen will pull off a similar feat and beat the Irish on Saturday?

I don’t think so. Kelly talked about that game Thursday evening (we’ll be seeing an excerpt in the Six Pack), and it’s clear it still stings. But after an ugly start against the Navy option, the Irish have looked pretty good against Ken Niumatalolo’s offense.

drempala: I’ve noticed that several players have been injured in the past couple weeks. Is there any way we can blame that on Tommy Rees?

Not yet, Drem. But if Rees throws a pick against Navy or misses a wide-open receiver, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

@mfmitchell88: Any reason to suspect a DNP from Nix will be more noticeable against navy than AF? If he is a no-go, will Tuitt be at NG again?

Great question. Nix won’t be dressing this weekend and the Irish will also be without Ishaq Williams, taking away another really big body that would’ve probably started. Last week we saw Ben Councell slide down and play with his hand on the ground. We also saw Justin Utupo get some snaps, something that’ll likely happen again this week. Tuitt will play on the inside again, he would’ve done that even if Nix was playing.

Navy is better than Air Force. They’ve got a better quarterback, too. If this was Stanford, would Nix be playing? You bet. But I think Kelly is confident in his depth up front and the scheme the Irish employ.

nudeman: Keith, will you be releasing weekly/monthly statistics on the new “Report Comment” feature? Follow up is who do you suppose will finish 2nd?

I want to take this question as an opportunity to be candid about the comments situation here. It’s really frustrating. I’ve gotten emails from dozens of you asking for my help in removing things that are offensive, crass, vulgar, etc.

I’ve tried my best to fight the good fight with commenters for about five straight years. There are people on here that I’ve sent personal emails to and they’ve done a good job of straightening out. There are others that have left because I asked them to stop being a jerk. Outside of me reading each and every comment every day, which isn’t a realistic expectation for a guy that’s kind of busy, this “Report Comment” feature is the next best thing.

Ultimately, I’m hoping you guys help police each other. My dream world would feature a message-board and continuing conversation where you guys can pick the topic. But that’s not going to happen if people continue to spew vulgarities, cross the line with sexist and racist things, and act like jerks.

The devil himself likely came up with the idea of anonymous commenting on the internet. If it were up to me, everybody would put their name on things, and own up to their own words. But I do have hope that you guys are on the right track, and it’ll continue to be a productive and fun use of people’s time to get in on the conversation.


  1. NotreDan - Oct 31, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    LMAO. copout.

    Explain to me, exactly, how the Golson family is “saving” $60,000 a year when the lad is on a full ride? Really? You talked to him? Literally today? And the best you have is “I don’t really know” and “it doesn’t matter; move along; nothing to see” because the Golson’s are saving money they never had to spend?

    You’re a joke of a journalist.

    Delete that.

    • nudeman - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      I have to say, NotreDan makes a good point (in true, inimitable NotreDan style).

      Seriously Keith, you spoke to Whitfield and you don’t have anything to report? It would be nice to know at least a little something about the conversation.

      What are his thoughts on EG? A future great? Just good?
      More/less talented than Manziel?

      I’d love to know more about this conversation.
      I also read that Golson is up to 204 lbs (from 189). I assume that’s “good weight”, but again, it would be nice to know what Whitfield says about that too.

    • jmfinsd - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      Your posts used to be worth reading. For the past 3-4 weeks, they’ve been nothing but vitriolic. Don’t know what happened, but I wish you better days ahead.

      How is the Golson family “saving” $60,000 a year when the lad is on a full ride? They’re saving $60,000 a year because he’s on a full ride and they don’t have to pay tuition. (Yes, this assumes they had the $$ to pay tuition for him to go to ND if he wasn’t on scholarship, but that’s hardly a reason to disbelieve the entire article.)

      Really? You talked to him? Literally today? — Why would KA lie about that?

      And the best you have is “I don’t really know” and “it doesn’t matter; move along; nothing to see.” — That’s your quote, not KA’s. He said he doesn’t know how much it cost. And why should he? Why would Whitfield tell a reporter personal, private financial details, either his or Golson’s?

    • mtflsmitty - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Dan, Life’s too short, man. Lighten up. It’s a college football chat board, not the NY Times or Washighton Post. Keith had his mom writing fictional bios of posters a couple months ago, for goodness sake.

      I haven’t seen the web analytics, but my guess is the readership on this site doesn’t generate massive advertising revenues, nor brand equity for NBC. As such, I doubt NBC is paying KAs six figures. My guess is KA may even have other work to supplement his income.

      Just suggesting, for the sake of your own happiness, you dial back your expectations a bit. And while you’re at it, maybe consider the advice you were given as a kid: If you don’t have something nice to say…

    • onward2victory - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      Agreed on the 60k a year thing Dan. But, in the words of Jim Harbaugh, What’s your deal?!?

      Do you think KA lying about talking to Whitfield?? If you think Keith sucks so bad then go to another site. This is by far the best non-subscription site that I’ve found so far.

    • jmfinsd - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:47 AM

      Your posts used to be good. But for the past 3-4 weeks they’ve been vitriolic. Don’t know what happened, but I wish you luck to get back.

      Explain to me, exactly, how the Golson family is “saving” $60,000 a year when the lad is on a full ride? — The family is saving $60k a year by not having to pay tuition because he’s on a full ride and can use that “saved” money to pay for camp. (Yes, this presumes he would be going to ND or some other college if not receiving a scholarship, but the presumption doesn’t make the statement so bad you dismiss the entire article.)

      Really? You talked to him? Literally today? — What would KA lie about that?

      And the best you have is “I don’t really know” and “it doesn’t matter; move along; nothing to see.” — That’s your quote, not KA’s. He does say, “What it cost, I’m not sure.” And why would he know? Even if he asked, why would Whitfield disclose personal financial information, either his or Golson’s?

      Hope you get back to being a positive contributor.

    • danfree5 - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:33 AM

      Long time reader, first time commenter.

      How is it such a stretch that Keith spoke with Whitfield today? He’s said before that he’s working on a piece about EG and GW. Is it really unusual for him to save his inside information for another post and not blow a good part of his conversation and scoop on a mailbag?

      As for his parents saving money – most parents that send their children to ND pay for the education. EG has been on scholarship for 5 semesters and his parents haven’t had to pay for this semester because he’s not in attendance and even if he were, he’d be on scholarship. That’s how EG has been saving them money for the past two years.

      If Keith is really a joke of a journalist, you’d go elsewhere to read and you wouldn’t waste your time here.

      • nudeman - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        I don’t think he was challenging that Keith actually spoke to Whitfield
        Rather, he’s asking for more from Keith on what was discussed.
        I agree, and hope we hear more.

      • danirish - Nov 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        Welcome Dan! Now we have danfree5, NotreDan and me, the “coolest” – Danirish!

    • runners00 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      He’s not a joke journalist. We’re here because Keith captures our attention by filing stories that are actually pretty interesting.

      So, on to the $60,000: tuition at Notre Dame is $44,605. Room and Board is another $12,512. Have they taught you to add in 4th grade, NotreDan? That’s $57,117. If the Golson clan did what I am doing right now and they saved for Everett’s college expenses, perhaps they are sending some of that money to Whitfield. It’s not a stretch. It’s an investment in their kid’s future.

    • Keith Arnold - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      Dan —

      Check what a year of college at Notre Dame costs. Right around $60,000. Hence my 60k a year.

      As for literally talking with George Whitfield — Yes, I literally spent an hour on the phone with George, as I’ve been working on a piece for a while.

      So I appreciate your eagerness to find a conspiracy in the making, or your habit of being the toughest-talker on an anonymous message board.

      Whitfield doesn’t have an official pricing sheet. Does it cost the same to train Andrew Luck as it does a 4th grader in San Diego? No. This came from Bruce Feldman today:

      I asked Whitfield and Golson about the cost of the quarterbacks time in San Diego. Whitfield usually helps quarterbacks find accommodations. For lodging, it was around $60 a day for the two months. For Whitfield’s training, it was about $500 a week. So combined that’s between $7,500-$8,000.

      So there you have it.

    • Keith Arnold - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      And NotreDan — I’ve emailed you TWICE to your Yahoo! account listed with WordPress. Both bounced back (SoupSunday)… So it’s not for lack of effort.

      Not sure what your problem is, but I hope it clears up.

  2. NotreDan - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    And as far as “report comment” goes, you all have my real name, and email, and cell phone and home address, which us more than we can say for ANYONE. Including authors. If you missed it let me know

    • NotreDan - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      And I’ve never had the pleasure of an email from king Arnold, which is weird

      • jerseyirish10 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        NotreDan, I suspect you haven’t heard from Keith personally, because I don’t recall you being sexist, racist or a complete lunatic. You can bust on Keith, BK and the team at will. Keith’s point, I believe, was if you step over a line and confuse an ND football blog with landing spot for spewing some hate speech, this isn’t the place. It’s Keith’s joint, by way of NBC, so if you don’t like it, it’s just like any TV show, radio station or movie. It’s your right to not watch it, hear it, or read it. In the past, I actually thought you brought some pretty good heat with your comments and opinions. But calling Keith a joke and trying to shred his response to a mailbag question….you have nothing better to do? It’s a blog…on the internet…about ND Football…relax. We all get fired up about the team and I for one throughly enjoy reading Keith. That’s why I keep coming back. I enjoy watching the games even more now using the live blog too. I certainly don’t want to speak for Keith here but I’m sure if you presented your thoughts about his response in a way to continue the conversation, it would make this place even better. That’s why I take the time to read what Bern has to say, what Nudeman comes back with and others. But, to each their own.

      • tucsonfan - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        What’s wierd is your belligerant attitude–this is supposed to be fun, not a place to whine and complain and attack.

        Maybe you should take up another past-time for your own good. And to let the rest of us enjoy the blog. Keith does a great job, I look forward to reading his stuff.

        By the way Keith, I appreciated your detailed response on the comments issues here. It gave me new insight into what the challenges are in policing them.

      • nudeman - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        Guys, NotreDan means well. Everyone relax. He’s the guy who gave us the vulva moments.
        Has earned a lifetime pass from me.

  3. nudeman - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    I just wrote a comment, hit “submit” and it’s nowhere to be found.
    Have I been banned?
    Actually I sort of hope I have.

    For the record, the comment was in support of NotreDan

    Keith, if you spoke to George Whitfield today, how about a little something about your conversation?
    The whole Golson excellent adventure with Whitfield thing has been the source of much conversation
    We’d all like to know how he’s developing, what Whitfield thinks of him, etc.

    • mtflsmitty - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:44 AM

      Same thing here. I refreshed a few times. No luck.
      For the record, I was encouraging Dan to lighten up a tad.

  4. richisirish - Oct 31, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    I’m a little worried about missing some of our defensive muscle this week…but I think the Irish offense will get enough points for a W.

    Since I missed the mailbag this week, maybe the crowd will weigh in here: Which Irish back gets the most carries on Saturday, and over or under 130 total rushing yards for ND?

    Keep up the great work Keith!

  5. sfnd - Nov 1, 2013 at 9:55 AM


    Thanks for the effort to redirect the content and tone of the comments to a decent exchange on ND football.

    I am interested to hear more on Golson’s activities and development this Fall. Also, as an “Insider”, can you give us inside information on Zaire’s development? Does Zaire have a reasonable chance to challenge Golson come spring?

    For the off week in November, can you prepare a too-early look at the 2014 depth chart?

    Go Irish.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      good questions. \

      i’d like to here some about how zaire is coming along as well, and it’s never too early to speculate on next year and that discussion is bound to inspire some lively debate.

  6. 4horsemenrideagain - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    not interested in jumping into the bash KA fray over the whitfield discussion.

    if EG’s fairygodmother footed the bill, or if whitfield did it pro bono, it doesn’t interest me. if there was any chance of an NCAA violation, you can bet ND’s compliance office was all over that like a chicken on a june bug, so where’s the intrigue? i’d guess, as a shrewd businessman, whitfield does some of this work for nothing because when his former clients go out and throw for 400 yards in a game, it serves as a pretty nice advertisement to attract those graduating seniors who just got drafted in the first round and who clearly will be paying customers.

    i do appreciate KA’s continued efforts to encourage decency and civility, and also the hints of will mcevoy from “newsroom” with the condemnation of anonymity on the interwebs. while i’m not one to tell someone else what too say/write or how to conduct themselves on sites like this, there’s something to the guy who mentioned that he’d love to let his kids read these articles and the comments, but can’t because of the racism, profanities and vulgarities.

    • jerseyirish10 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      I agree. I suspect Whitfield knows all the in’s and out’s because any association to him being “illegal” in the eyes of the NCAA….who would continue to go to him? I suspect ND has a pretty stout compliance department (like most big time programs) so I would hope they would have vetted this all the way. Why kick him out for his cheating on a test, only to let him walk into an NCAA issue and knock him off the field again? Doesn’t make sense.

    • nudeman - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      Are any of you readers of the 4Horsemen Lounge (4HL) on Rivals?
      A riduculous daily crap fest.
      Should be shut down. It’s that bad
      If you dare to have an opinion that one of the regulars disagrees with, you get 20 4HL idiots coming out of the woodwork, calling you an a**hole, a troll, a trolling a**hole, demanding that they ban you, etc.

      And Pete Sampson, one of the editors does little to discourage it. Even participates occasionally.
      By comparison, the dialogue here is way more civil with adults, not adults posing as teens

      BTW, I wasn’t taking a shot at Keith on the Whitfield thing; just saying I’d like to hear more.
      The whole “how is Goldston doing?” thing is of huge interest to all of us.
      And whoever wrote that Keith has said he’s working on a piece on this – I must have missed that.
      I hope that’s true. Would love to read it.

      • jerseyirish10 - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        I don’t even both with that noise.
        But, I’m with you. I’d love for a piece on the insight about Gholstein, his training, his mental state in the weeks/months after his expulsion. From the few things we have seen, I’d say he has a decent grip on his situation but a deep dive would be great. And a professional level dissection from Whitfield would be great too. That might send us into orbit if we find out he has raised his level to great heights.

      • nudeman - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Would be a great piece
        Whitfield would be well advised to do it here bs the 4HL, where if even one word is dissonant, he’ll get assassinated by the clowns there

        Keith … begging you.

      • alwayspositive11 - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        I used to post over at Cartier Field. It’s not too bad, but it can be really negative at times. Negativity is all right as long as it’s based on what’s really going on. There is a regular poster over at Cartier who simply says “Brian Kelly is an idiot”. That’s it. He doesn’t back up his statement with any explanation. He doesn’t say “I think Brian Kelly is an idiot” just “Brian Kelly is an idiot” like it’s a fact of the universe. Like water is wet and the sky is blue. Those kinds of contributions don’t interest me. How can an idiot be that good at coaching? Doesn’t make sense to me.
        This blog here is a good blog. Even guys like Dickasman try to support their claims with some kind of explanation.

  7. alwayspositive11 - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    What happened to my comment?

  8. nducsb - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I do believe that if Golson was violating any rules by going to train with Whitfield, he would not have been on College Game Day 3 different times this year discussing Golson’s development (along with Johnny Manziel)… pretty sure they would try to keep it a little more hush hush if it was something that was even considered a violation.

  9. danirish - Nov 2, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    All I have to say is:



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