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Early signing period could help (and hurt) Irish

Mar 10, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT


The long discussed idea of having an early signing period for college football appears to be picking up traction. A recent report by ESPN says that a panel of conference commissioners will meet this summer as momentum for legislation picks up.

With Signing Day becoming one of the signature holidays in college football, a cottage industry has grown around the first Wednesday of February. As stakes grow, the resources allocated by universities chasing recruits around the country has pushed the pressure of the entire situation to a tipping point.

It’s also put an enormous amount of pressure on student-athletes, some of whom aren’t all that comfortable in the fishbowl that recruiting has become. While college basketball already has an early signing period in place, no such thing has happened in football. But Susan Peal, a high-ranking official inside the NCAA says that might be changing.

This from ESPN’s report:

“I think everyone wants an early signing period,” Peal said this week. “It’s just trying to nail down what’s the appropriate date for that.”

The letter of intent program is governed by the CCA, a 32-member panel of Division I conference commissioners. The group will meet in June to review an agenda that includes an early signing period.

The commissioners previously considered the issue, but Peal said it has been a few years.

“I think there’s more momentum now than ever just because of the changes that are happening with recruiting regulations,” said Peal, who works closely with the commissioners on topics related to national letters of intent. “The landscape is changing, so it’s time to look at it again.”

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops weighed in on the issue, with ESPN reporting that Stoops said in January that college football’s most powerful conference wouldn’t be in favor of changing things.  “I know the SEC coaches are not in favor of changing the recruiting calendar,” Stoops said, according to ESPN. “If things start moving up, it changes the way we’ve been doing things for a long time.”

The skeptic would point to over-signing, grayshirting and other mechanisms the SEC has traditionally used to manipulate the recruiting calendar, making it obvious that any changes would require their well oiled machines to go in for some tweaks. Just this offseason Tennessee coach Butch Jones found a new loophole to exploit, adding 31 members to his recruiting class.

Jones likely stated what all coaches feel when he told the Knoxville Quarterback club the following in December:

“If we can find a way to sign 35, we’ll sign 35,” he said.

How an early signing period would effect the Irish remains to be seen. On the surface, you’d expect Notre Dame to be in favor of it. For Brian Kelly’s program, a coaching staff that recruits nationally, finding certainty and taking student-athletes that are firmly committed out of play early would allow for a better use of resources.

With an early signing period, the Irish would’ve most certainly won some and lost some, but ultimately could’ve ended up spending less time and resources making sure that an entire class stays committed, even with schools making late runs at prospects.

But Stanford’s David Shaw is against the early signing period for reasons that might also impact Notre Dame. The Cardinal head coach deals with similar (and probably more stringent) academic challenges as he navigates his university’s admissions process, with recruits sometimes heading into January not knowing whether they’ve officially been admitted into Stanford or not.

Notre Dame landed Troy Niklas after he wasn’t accepted into Stanford. They lost out on recent cornerback target Terrence Alexander after he received admission. But Shaw thinks an accelerated recruiting calendar is a terrible idea (Thanks to Chris Vannini at for the transcription):

“I might be alone in this, but I think it’s terrible,” Shaw said. “I think it’s terrible. The reason is, in my opinion, coaches don’t like when a kid commits and then switches. It’s still going to happen. If a kid wants to change after the early signing period, he’s going to appeal, and that appeal is going to go through, because the committees that decide on those appeals always give in toward the student-athlete. You’ve got a kid that might be 16 going on 17 that commits, then really has a chance to think about it, changes his mind, and we’re going to try to hold him to that.

“On top of that, to be honest, we have a lot of kids that don’t know if they’re going to get into school until after that early signing period. We’re going to punish the academic schools just because coaches don’t want a kid to switch their commitment. People can make whatever argument they want, it boils down to that. Coaches don’t want to keep recruiting an entire class. That’s what it boils down to. We’ve been doing it for a long time, and most of us have been able to do OK.

“We just don’t want those late commitments switches, which puts the young man back in a tough decision. He’s gotta make a fast decision, because we’re saying ‘early signing day,’ when it’s an early pressure point. Coaches pressure these kids into making decisions. We’re going to force kids to make decisions. Three weeks later, he might say, ‘I don’t want to do this.

“This is not something for student-athletes, which is something we’re supposed to be making their experiences better. We’re making it worse. All it’s going to be is a whole bunch of adult males pressuring young males into doing something they might regret three weeks down the road.”

Shaw’s comments are incredibly candid and also a perfect counterpoint to the common sense logic that makes an early signing period desirable. His comments should also ring true for Irish fans, especially after seeing Eddie Vanderdoes earn immediate eligibility after signing his letter of intent with Notre Dame.

While the issue isn’t as transparent as the failed attempt to institute a 10-second wait, there are valid points being made by both sides of the issue. As the debate continues, it’ll certainly be interesting to watch how it impacts Notre Dame.

  1. mediocrebob - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    I don’t see the pros outweighing the cons here. I’m on Coach Shaw’s side. The schools that actually have academic requirements above a middle school reading level lose out here.

  2. largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    early signing might hurt and help. way to take a stand mr. arnld. and anytime someone quotes the football coach at kentucky we all stand up and take notice. well done. any word on what the bowling green coach thinks? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha llllllooooofffffllllllll. go irish. beat navy

    • tucsonfan - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:53 AM

      Largebush (small brain??), based on the several comments here, especially your contempt for the military, good riddance, go to Canada. If you had any balls, you could be a pacifist and serve with honor and courage if needed as a Corpsman, as many true pacifists did before you. My direct knowledge of the guys who ran off to Canada was that they were totally self centered and mostly cowards–like you??

      Apologies to the rest of the board for posting non football stuff but too many of my friends and comrades lost everything for idiots like this halfwit.

      • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:18 AM

        never said i have comtempt for the military. said i didn’t want to server personally. my comtempt is saved for idiots who wear their military service as their sole identity. i had a neighbor who was out of the service for 20 years and would still introduce himself as hi, im paul fisher, MARINE. what a clod. gro up, man. we’re not kids playing army anymore.

  3. dudeacow - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Great work, Keith. My idea about it is what happens to the late bloomers? Nike Sykes, Kolin Hill, Pete Mokwuah, and Jhonny Williams all used their senior season to catapult their college careers. Are recruits going to try hard in their senior season now? Would it just be for sentimental reasons? I’m really opposed to this and hope it doesn’t go through.

  4. fnc111 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    large bush,

    Go Irish beat Navy? Really? That seems really random.

    Go Irish beat Rice! Then……

    • papadec - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      fnc – maybe bush was in the Army?

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        total pascifist here. never served and if forced to serve it would have been hello maple leaf gardens. i like how some here and on other blogs love to point out their military service when it is competely off the topic. as if we all care. no we don’t. if you loved it so much why did you leave? go get another tattoo dude and give me 50 pushups soldier. uncle sam might want you but he wants no part of me. bryan kelly in nfl within 1 year. go irish. beat navy.

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        there is a flying burrito brother song from the seventies called my uncle. check it out man

  5. 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    an early signing period is only proposed to benefit schools and coaches. it offers little, if any benefit to the 17/18 yr. old kid. the more kids that sign early, the more kids we will see come up with various explanations as to why they should be able to back out of that early commitment.

    on a slightly different note, you gotta laugh when stoops says “I know the SEC coaches are not in favor of changing the recruiting calendar, If things start moving up, it changes the way we’ve been doing things for a long time.” you know, down there in the SEC, they just don’t like uppity Yankees telling them that there’s anything they need to change that they’ve been doing for a long time.

  6. papadec - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Coaches, programs, conferences that are going to cheat the system, are going to find a way to cheat no matter what the ncaa rules are.

    • tucsonfan - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:48 AM

      If a school finds a loophole in the NCAA regime, its not cheating, Papadec, even as finding every possible legal deduction on taxes is not cheating and still legal.

      ND can ignore that, but don’t expect to beat teams who play to the letter of the rules, not some higher, holier strata that ND chooses for itself Its very frustrating to me.

      • papadec - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        tucson – I’m not talking about ncaa loopholes.

  7. bernhtp - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Colleges (often) have a special type of admissions called “early action,” which means that the student has only applied to one school in this way and is bound to go if he is admitted. Only the highest caliber students are admitted under this process and thus it is discouraged except for those with stellar credentials and absolutely certainly want to go to that school.

    I would be fine with the early signing period if they implemented it in a similar way – only a small number of excellent students and those absolutely certain this is the school for them are admitted in this manner. If done so, Shaw’s objections would likely go away and it would be good for Stanford and ND. However, such a process would also make it objectionable to most schools.

    • dillonbigred - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      Yes, the SEC schools and many other schools would have no concern about the excellent students. They are only interested in stockpiling athletic talent by any means. With 1 year scholarships, greyshirting, and having kids wait to enroll in the fall semester to have the scholarship not count for another year, those schools are not interested in the students.

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        stop wining about the sec. if you want to play sec quality football then knock off the charaide on academics. if you aren’t going to change then just accept that you will beat navy most years purdue most years and a couple othercrap teams but never the big boys. go irish. beat purdue.

      • italianirish - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Very insightful. Thank you for chiming in.

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        oh why don’t you just shut up you big baby. all i read hear is about what a great school notre dame is and how anyone with a better team cheats. ever think how pathetic that sounds. a degree is a degree. bill gates doesn’t even have one. neither did jobbs. neither did jesus. maybe you should all read your stuff before posting it. in radio they call it a 7 second delay. you guys need a 45 minute delay.

      • mediocrebob - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        Other crap teams like USC? Michigan? Michigan St? ASU? No Georgia Southerns or Florida A&Ms. Thanks for playing but you somehow find a way to get worse by the post largebush.

      • mediocrebob - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        And I’ve never heard anyone talk about other programs cheating on here unless they’re talking about a program that’s been busted ie: OSU or u$C … so that’s not all you’ve heard and…you’re dumb.

      • goirish0112 - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        Since academics have entered the discussion, it’s whining, not wining, charade, not charaide, and Jobs, not jobbs. Maybe you should re-read before posting also, and add to your list of who doesn’t have a degree.

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        mediocrebob i wish i could report that comment because it’s a putrid LIE. people here and on other nd boards are constatly carping about how great of a school nd is how the sec never would suspend someone for cheating and how any kid who goes somewhere other than nd is making a 4 year desicion instead of a 40 year desicion. god that’s so disgusting and insulting. why don’t you wake up. go irish. beat purdue

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:41 PM

        never claimed to be a great speller. just a truth cannon. if you can’t handle the facts maybe you should get out of the kitchen man. in the land of the dark the ship of sun is driven by me.
        go irish. beat army

      • largebush - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        if i had one wish it would be that tommy reese gets a 5th year. if i had two wishes it would be that he gets a 6th year. other wishes would be tyrone wilingsen comes back as AD with an option to coach the team any time he wants. then again kelly will mess it up pretty well himself until he goes to the nfl next year. and i would love a single back backfield this year that featured atkinsen on every play. guaranteed 6-6. but they would beat bavy and purdue so succesful year my friends. possible tidy bowl bid.

      • dillonbigred - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        Somebody is off his meds. I will pray for you.

      • mediocrebob - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:59 AM

        How many nd boards do you visit ? Seems that you spend a lot of time on nd boards for a school/program that you dislike so much. You say you speak the truth but you have done little of that only speaking subjectively while mispelling elementary words on your way to making no sense. I’m not genius, but I can spell 4 letter, everyday common words.

        Between those two things that I just stated, your comments hold zero weight.

      • doc-domer79 - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        I’m sorry- smallish bush-

        Are you arguing that SEC football players are by and large actually students at their Universities? And representative of the actual student body? I’m confused- I’m a professor at a SEC university which has won 2 national championships over the last decade- I would argue that you likely do not recognize the critical difference between the SEC caliber students who are actually hired mercenaries- to be used up and discarded as their 1 year “renewable” scholarships are not renewed, versus a university which at least strives to meet the ideal of the “student-athlete.” I would think you’d be saddened and embarrased to support programs which use up the athletes without regard to their futures.

        Or maybe I’m in error, and you have 1st hand knowledge of SEC programs I don’t see in my position?

    • tucsonfan - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:56 AM

      I think the problem is that nothing would change–kids would still change their minds regardless of timing, right up to just before they are due to start–a la Vandedoes. Or after they come, a la a number of players over the last several years at least.

  8. predicatepanda - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Hilarious that Shaw uses the term ‘academic schools’ to differentiate Stanford, ND, Northwestern, etc from the other institutions. What exactly do we call them…….. non-academic schools?

  9. dbldmr - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    Large bush, small mind.

  10. idratherbeinsouthbend - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    Large Bush,

    Look at the numbers, it IS a 40 decision…because of the rising cost of a college education, the decision to go to college is no longer a financially sound decision. As of 2013, Notre Dame has a higher ROI than any other college with an FBS football team…ranked 23. The only other schools with FBS programs in the top 100 are

    Duke ranked 38
    Texas A & M ranked 76
    BYU ranked 82

    It IS a 40 year decision!

    ….and we haven’t even started talking about Graduation rates. Notre Dame has ranked 1 or 2 for the last 25 years (97-98%)….the highest SEC school is Vanderbilt graduating 86% and LSU ranked 25th (which is respectable) graduating 77%….

    So 100+ schools out there are graduating less than 75% of their players.

    Who are the worst?
    All below 60%…Georgia Tech, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas State (surprising!), USC, Florida State, South Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona, Washington State

    Oklahoma only graduates 47% FORTY SEVEN PERCENT!!!!

    Florida International has the bottom of the list covered with 40% Graduation rate.

    So, the day you sign with one of these teams, you can flip a coin and see whether you’ll graduate.


    • tucsonfan - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:07 AM

      Look, I know where you are coming from, and I don’t have any respect for ANYTHING largebush says, but having an ND degree is the ante in the game, as is almost any respectable college degree. It doesn’t guarantee a 40 year success story–ND has its share of failures in the actual job market, and as a professional headhunter I can tell you that there are many schools, FBS and non FBS, who’s degrees are at least as highly valued as ND degrees. Those schools have their share of failures in the market as well.

      Its also true that some very successful dropouts, including most of the tech industry titans, have done fabulously well, not just for themselves, but for all the people whose jobs they created. Jobs, Gates, Allen, Dell come to mind without even trying. Latest are the whatsapp guys.

      So I would like to see ND go back to the days of Ara and Lou (his early years) re its policies on admittance etc. Then we’d have a solid even handed chance at championships, like we used to regularly before policies changed. Its not just coaching that wins, you have to have the best talent, and we don’t get it anymore.

      • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        finally a normal poster. not someone who thinks ND and a degree are the pinnacle. wake up everyone. you can be successful with a degree from ANY school. or without a degree. it is what is in your hear and soul after you graduate that matters. go irish. beat navy

      • mediocrebob - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        You’re right bush. I’m sure the degree you hold carries much more weight than an nd degree.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM


        Sure, you can be successful anywhere, but statistically speaking, if you’re little joey linebacker or joey’s mom and dad, the numbers say that you have the greater chance for success by attending Notre Dame.

        You can get three points from making a shot at the top of the key or you can get three points from making a shot at half court. Which shot are you taking?

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        ask ND grads how many job leads, actual jobs and referrals they have gotten from other ND grads and you’ll start to understand the value of an ND degree and why the “40 yr. decision” line gets trotted out so often.

        for better or for worse (I think for better) ND grads take care of their own, not entirely unlike the mob but with substantially less racketeering and substantially fewer guys in tacky track suits. the loyalty doesn’t stop at ND football, it’s the same outside of football for fellow alums in law, business and many other fields, and the only other comparable schools that look after and protect their own like ND are some of the Ivy league schools. for you naysayers, I didn’t just proclaim ND to be an Ivy, rather I said ND alumni are as resolute and dedicated to fellow alumni as some Ivy league schools are.

  11. notredameirish1980 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    An early signing period would serve as an option for exceptional and committed student athletes. If you are having doubts, don’t sign. If there are serious questions about the ability of the student to matriculate, don’t sign him. Kids are now committing over a year or more before signing day and this would serve to formalize a trend that is already occurring.

  12. largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    most of you are blinded by the light as that singer used to say. you need someone here like me to stir it up and put a finger in your eye. should i go away? have i made my point? don’t know on either. maybe i’ll disappear and maybe i’ll keep stirring. we’l see

    • mediocrebob - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      You aren’t going anywhere. You have nothing better to do. And we all enjoy making fun of your lack of intelligence.

      • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        that’s a personel shot. i reported that comment, man. back off

      • mediocrebob - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM


      • papadec - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        Awwwwwwww poor bushy – he got his feelings hurt.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      You aren’t the first Bush in American history to run around proving he was stupid. :)

      • dillonbigred - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        I campaigned for George H.W. Bush, and I gave this a thumbs up.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      oh, the suspense is killing me

  13. yaketyyacc - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    it’s the American way: push the date further and further back. hey, we’ve
    done it to Christmas, etc. who benefits, the retailers, and who will benefit is signing day is pushed backed? the student athlete? no, only programs that only consider their ends. Shaw is quite correct, all that will result is a game of athletic musical chairs. lost will be academic education. remember that tidbit, the reason for going to college.

  14. stsimonsirishman - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Seventeen year olds making life decisions of course there are going to be second guesses and indecisiveness. Just what these kids need more pressure. I don’t see any befit for the student athlete here.

  15. upthera44 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    On an unrelated note, get excited people:

    • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      when i was a kid we had a term called clodhopper for anyone who just couldn’t do a danm thing right. maybe that was only in ohio, i don’t know. but it sure seems like there are a lot of clodhoppers here

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        When I was growing up we used the term clodhoppers for big slow feet…interesting, the variance in terminology just a few hundred miles away.

  16. largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    i once went to work for an idiot company in atlanta filled with ex marines. they thought the south and the marines were the center of the universe. one day i laughd at something in an innocent way in a class and the jerk made me do 25 pushups. you’d have thought i was sherman on the way to savannah. another day an exec came into the class interupted and announced I AM A NORTHERNER BY BIRTH AND A SOUTHERNER BY CHOICE. we were talking about their accounts payable software at the time, not where people were born. company eventually was sold for about a dollar. what a big durprise. that’s what i feel about some of the people here. self important clodhoppers who think ND is the central of the football universe. youre not. although there are a few good guys here who don’t take themselves to seriously i admit that. no names. go irish. beat syracuse

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      I once went to a website that had a comments section in which one guy felt compelled to compensate for some other shortcoming by unleashing an unending stream of nonsensical blather, mostly for the purposes of insulting others.

      • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        where is that site? i think you need to stay there. and i’ve reported your comment buddy

    • mediocrebob - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      You’re on a notre dame blog. Of course notre dame football is the “center of the college football universe” to us. Go to a bama blog. Bama will be the center there. Ohio state blog? Probably mostly buckeye talk.

      Are you sure you know how this works?

      • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        another shot. another reported comment. most of you guys will be banned befoer end of week at this rate.

      • mediocrebob - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        And I’ll be back under another name. Once again, are you sure you know how all of this works?

    • 1historian - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      “I once went to work for an idiot company in atlanta filled with ex marines.”

      The dude gives you an opening like that and NONE of you respond to it?

  17. largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    i went to a notre dame game several years ago. it was my last one and i was actually trying to chear for them. they played syracuse at home and it was seniors day i think and the orange were terrible that year. miserable. the irish should have won 47-0 but the ornge pounded the irish into submission in the 4th quarter until your fat coach uncle charlie had to cry uncle. i think he lost his job that day. why it had to take that long i will never know. and what have they done sonce? oh yeah i forgot man. they beat rutgers and temple last year. sorry. my bad boys. go irish. beat navy

  18. 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    in the spirit of amnesty for trolls, I suggest a change of topic and change of tone. discuss football and do it without being insulting. sure, fnc wants to discuss the missing Malaysian flight and large wants to…well, i’m not sure what he wants to do other than tell ND fans that he thinks they are all stupid and that he’s telling the teacher that we’ve all been very, very bad.

    i’ll start us off with a point to ponder; when the coaching staff goes out for happy hour, what do they order? here are my guesses:

    Brian Kelly – dirty, dry stoli martini. neat. serious. setting an example. all business, all the time.
    Mike Denbrock – dirty, dry grey goose martini, straight up. pretty much like BK, but not exactly because he is his own man, after all.
    Paul Longo -2 parts whey protein shake, 1 part vodka. no fruit. a little boozy but with low glycemic index. good for those times when you want to cut loose, and also add a little lean muscle at the same time.
    Brian VanGorder – Bud tall boys, with Early Times chaser, and maybe a few Marlboro Reds or Lucky Strikes to boot because…well, he’s a D-Coordinator and just look at him. is there any doubt? then he gets on his chopper and peels out of the parking lot.
    Tony Alford – vodka, redbull for that little extra jolt to help keep it going on the recruiting trail and to let the kids know he’s hip.
    Scott Booker – root beer and jack daniels, with a lime. a special drink for the special teams coordinator.

    (I ran out of ideas for the rest).
    Kerry Cooks –
    Bob Elliott –
    Mike Elston –
    Harry Hiestand –
    Matt LaFleur

    • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      anybody with a name like lafleur drinks something with an umbrella in it. HA HA HA HA AH HA. and dont kid yourselv, kelly is a guinness guy. and alford likes crown on the rocks

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        now there you go. that was pretty good. well done.

        whenever I see the name lafleur, I hear ben stiller saying “cram it in your cramhole.”

        why did you stop posting as paul hargis? not that it matters, but were you banned?

    • papadec - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Harry – pitchers of draft beer – c’mon, he’s an in the trenches guy.

  19. joeschulz - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    I am sorry Mr. Largebush. You simply don’t get what makes ND better. I’m from Michigan. I was a merit scholar. I became an ivy league football player. I went on to the U of Michigan law school. I happened to visit the ND campus to use their law library more than 20 years ago and fell in love with the attitude. My first time on campus required that I get help and I must have gotten help from ten people that first day, parents, students, instructors, administrators. They walked me to the law school. They took me to the administrative offices to get a key so I could use the library in off hours. They took me to the student union. They took me to one of the many bookstores on campus. They weren’t just into themselves. They were friendly. They were truly interested in helping others.

    On a later visit I saw a hundred people watching a girls’ flag football game. They were obviously boyfriends, and brothers and sisters and moms and dads. They and their incredibly athletic daughters, sisters, girlfriends had a great time. I’ve been around; but I never saw anything like it before or since anywhere else. ND has something to be proud of and they are proud of it. ND wants to win; but it doesn’t want to cheat. The groundkeepers want to mow the grass better than anyone else. Most of the people on campus want to be the best at what they are doing. It is just the ND way.

    These days I root for the sports teams because of that attitude. They want to win without cheating. Isn’t that what we all really want to do? I love football more even than you think you do. I love ND. I wan’t ND to win; but I don’t want them to cheat to do it. I am proud to be a ND fan.

    • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      well thats heartwarming. i am glad you like nd and i mean that. you sound like an ok guy because you like them some good reasons not the garbage that other clodhoppers here claim, greatest university int he world, tradition, blah blah.let me tell you tradition went out when buddy holly and big bopper died, the day the music died. wake up domers. its over. top20 is best you’ll evr do. go irish. beat navy

      • papadec - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        bush just for the hell of it – try mixing it up with ALL the teams on the schedule this Fall – Rice, Michigan, Purdue, Cuse, Stanford, N. Carolina, Fla State, Navy, Arizona St, N’Western, L’Ville, So Cal.

  20. joeschulz - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Mr. Largebush,

    I was so interested in making my point about ND, I forgot an even more important matter — military service. You said in an earlier post, “total pascifist here. never served and if forced to serve it would have been hello maple leaf gardens.” I find that comment more than a little offensive. I find people who would run, rather than fight for their country, despicable. Those of us who have gotten the benefits of our citizenship have an obligation to defend it.

    Few people in our country are more bothered than I about the absence of leadership and mire of corruption in our government. But, until I am willing to give up my citizenship and move away I MUST SERVE. It is my opinion that military service should be required of those who wish to be nominated for election to any federal office. It is also my opinion that those who refuse to serve should be stripped of their citizenship and deported to any country that will have them.

    • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      well congratulations but that position doesn’t work for me. totally offensive. what the hell is so great about serving? if there was a draft would you have gone to iraq for that stupid crap of a war? well let me tell you nam was 10 times worse if measured by dead US soldiers. both wars were based on lies and you know that. now if someone invaded the us and our country was threatened then yes iw ould be the first guy with a rifle in my hand. but i wouldn’t fight to “liberate” iraq and i wouldn’t fight because supposedl if the commies took nam the next thing you know they’d be taking california. what a bunch of crap. until our leaders stop lying to satisfy the military industtrial complex i won’t just buy what they say without asking a couple questions thank you.

  21. getsome99 - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Are we supposed to be fooled by “large bush”? I think we all know who this really is. Definitely a regular commenter here trying to emulate his idol Paul Hargis. It’s not Hargis though. Hargis doesn’t even know who Alford is, much less make comments about him.

    Come on out, Nude. This is starting to get embarrassing. Even for you.

  22. fitz79 - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    On a greater level the problem is the overall commercialization of college football. Remember college football players don’t (or are not supposed to) earn a single dime, while all the while contributing to a billion dollar industry while risking life and limb. NCAA athletes by definition are amateurs, though you’d never know it in this day and age. The fact that the powers that be want to extend this nonprofessional- professional status even beyond NCAA competitors to high schoolers, minors just trying to choose what school to go to and hence what team to play for, is rather sickening. What next? ESPN reporters pressuring Pop warner players into declaring which high school they will likely someday play for? Ok, sorry for getting a little off topic but where does it end?

  23. mdp44 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    No wonder some of my friends hate ND, some of you guys need to get off the cool aid, love ND too but try not to sound so douchey

    • largebush - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      reporting that comment. no need for the word douche

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