Safety Eilar Hardy will finish his college football career elsewhere. After four seasons in South Bend, Hardy will earn his Notre Dame degree and be free to play out his eligibility in another program.
Per a report from Irish Illustrated, Notre Dame has granted Hardy his release, meaning he’ll be eligible to play in another program once her earns his degree this spring. That scenario didn’t always look to be possible amidst the academic suspensions that ensnared Hardy in the days before the season opener, the last member of the Frozen Five who was the only student-athlete to return to the field for the Irish.
With the safety depth chart being what it is in South Bend, the idea of returning to play as a fifth-year senior seemed logical. But approval into a graduate program in good standing wasn’t necessarily assured, and while the coaching staff would’ve likely welcomed Hardy back, cutting ties now makes the most sense.
The transfer options for Hardy will likely be plentiful. They include Miami (Ohio) and UConn, where Hardy would be reunited with former Irish coordinators Chuck Martin and Bob Diaco. Irish Illustrated also mentions Bowling Green, where Hardy could play with former high school teammate Roger Lewis. Hardy will begin to explore all of his options now.
As for any animosity between the Hardy family and Notre Dame after a difficult 2014 season spent in limbo, it seems like all parties walk away with their respect intact.
“I have no complaints about Notre Dame, never,” Bill Hardy, Eilar’s father told Irish Illustrated. “That’s my team.”