While there’s been no official comment on the reason behind EJ Banks banishment from the team, there is good news for those Irish fans worried that Banks would leave the program or transfer. Kelly has been clear that the problem with Banks is not disciplinary to him, which pretty much points to an academic issue at the university level that makes him ineligible to play on scholarship.
Either way, Kelly was happy to report that Banks had rejoined the team as a walk-on, deciding to stay at Notre Dame and pay his way through school.
“He is going to come out, we’re going to bring him out as a scout
team player next week Tuesday,” Kelly said after practice yesterday. “We expect him to come and do a great job
for us. He cannot compete. And he is no longer on scholarship. He is
paying his own way here at Notre Dame. He wanted to come back to Notre
Dame and he wanted to be on the team and he wanted to prove himself.
He’s going to get a chance this year to prove himself academically and
on the football field.”
It’s never great to lose a player as an academic casualty, but if there’s a silver lining in all of this, it’s that we’re seeing Banks’ true character come out, and he’s definitely rising to the challenge. If we’ve seen anything in the past at Notre Dame, whether it Darrin Walls or Julius Jones, there are plenty of student-athletes that have gotten themselves back on track and productive both on and off the field.
Hopefully that’ll be the case with Banks.