Notre Dame senior safety Eilar Hardy has been cleared for competition by the NCAA, opening the door for him to play this weekend against Arizona State. Hardy was one of five Irish football players held out of action after an academic investigation ultimately cost DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams their seasons.
Multiple reports had Hardy out for the season and tagged with a two-semester ban from the university after Honor Code violations. The university never commented on those reports, though this activity tends to fly in the face of those conclusions as Hardy joins the team on the active travel roster for the weekend.
After rejoining the team to practice after the Florida State game, Kelly said Thursday that he hoped to have Hardy with him this weekend, awaiting word from the NCAA on his eligibility.
“We’re in dialogue with the NCAA, trying to get a final clarification or a final declaration from them relative to his immediate eligibility,” Kelly said yesterday evening. “That is a fluid situation. We’re hoping to get a final answer from them very, very soon.”
Hardy officially joins the team at a perfect time, returning to a secondary that’s in need of healthy bodies at the safety position, with Max Redfield and Elijah Shumate only backed up by freshman Drue Tranquill.
At this time last year, Hardy was close to emerging as a significant contributor for the Irish. We’ll see if he’s able to get that opportunity again in November, with injuries to Austin Collinsworth and Nicky Baratti opening up the door for Hardy to play.