Golson speaks: Accepts suspension, aims at 2014 return

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A day after news broke that Everett Golson was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame, the quarterback confirmed and clarified the circumstances surrounding his shocking departure.

With the university bound to silence due to privacy laws, Golson himself acknowledged an academic situation that let to a suspension for the fall semester, ending his football season before it ever began.

Golson released a statement through the University:

I have been informed by the University of Notre Dame that due to my poor academic judgment that I have been suspended from the University for the 2013 Fall Term. 

I take full responsibility for my poor choices and will do all that is asked of me to regain the trust of my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the entire Notre Dame community.

I chose to attend Notre Dame because of its mission to develop me both on and off the football field.

My parents and the community I grew up in have instilled values in me that have and will continue to allow me to be successful in the future.  There have been many lessons learned as I worked to become the starting quarterback at Notre Dame and each was a result of Coach Kelly’s belief in me as an athlete and a person.

At this point, I understand how my integrity could be in question but I want to reassure my supporters that through this experience I will return a better student athlete as well as a better individual.

Lastly, I want to thank the University of Notre Dame for the opportunity already granted and also the opportunity going forth to regain my eligibility in the winter of 2014.

Thus ends any speculation that the quarterback who led the Irish to a 12-1 record will return in the fall. Notre Dame will now move forward with a three-man depth chart at quarterback, with Tommy Rees the assumed starter, Andrew Hendrix the veteran though untested back-up, and Malik Zaire the hotshot rookie that now might not be able to wear a redshirt.

Earlier in the day, former Irish quarterback Gunner Kiel squelched any hopes Irish fans may have had for a return to South Bend by reconfirming his decision to play for Cincinnati next season. (An option that never existed for the Irish staff.) That leaves a fairly large question mark at a position that seemed to be resolved after Golson’s breakout rookie season.

What isn’t in question is the more than admirable stance that Notre Dame is taking with its starting quarterback. After having its integrity called into question more than a few times over the past few years as the Irish reascended the college football mountain, the university backed up one of its strongest beliefs by holding true to its honor code, something Golson.

While some skeptics would wonder how many quarters a starting quarterback would sit out for cheating on an exam at some powerhouse football programs, Notre Dame — and Golson, who owned his mistakes — lived up to the standard it set for itself by suspending their potential star quarterback.

For Golson, he can look at the path laid by several successful Irish football players who took the long way home. With success stories coming from players like Gary Gray, Darrin Walls, and Julius Jones, there’s a proven road map for him to return, if he wants to do the work.