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Thursday reading: Jenkins discusses athletics expectations; Pride speeds; Analyst joins Elko

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Amid the current and coming construction across campus, Notre Dame hosted town hall meetings last week to address faculty and student concerns as well as provide an overall update. Last Thursday’s rendition focused on athletics, according to the independent student newspaper, The Observer.

University President Fr. John Jenkins discussed his primary goals for the Irish athletic department as a whole.

“The first thing is integrity,” Jenkins said. “That’s absolutely critical for everyone at the University, but because athletics is so prominent, it’s critical. What I mean by that is, compliance with NCAA regulation and other regulations, but also to act in a way that you can be proud of and Notre Dame can be proud of you.

“Second, we’re about these kids, our students … and help[ing] them to grow as people—educationally, morally, spiritually—and grow into responsible adults.”

Jenkins’s third standard involves winning championships, but he emphasized it cannot come at the cost of the first two tenets.

“If we do the third and not the first two, we’re not Notre Dame.”

The town halls yielded some relatively-detailed updates on construction, which will certainly be of interest for those intending to visit campus this spring, fall or even next year. Once more, the necessary link.

Troy Pride showcases speed
Irish sophomore cornerback Troy Pride, Jr., ran the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes at the ACC Indoor Championships over the weekend. Keeping in mind track is Pride’s secondary focus for much of the year, his qualifying for the finals in the 60-meter with a time of 6.77 seconds should be granted much respect.

Pride finished eighth in the finals at 6.83 seconds. For context: Florida State sophomore Darryl Haraway won the conference title with an official time of 6.66 seconds. Pride’s 21.75-second finish in the 200-meter was not enough to reach the finals, though it was Notre Dame’s fastest. Haraway won that race, as well, in 21.07 seconds.

Pride started three games and appeared in eight in the 2016 season, finishing with 12 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Elko, Diaco will have hype to meet
More than only Irish eyes are eager to see how new Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko fares in South Bend. SI.com’s Colin Becht ranked the Elko hire as the No. 8-best coordinator hire in college football this offseason.

“[Elko’s] multiple packages should allow him to adapt to the Fighting Irish and help them make quick progress,” Becht writes.

Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco’s arrival at Nebraska ranks two spots higher than Elko’s arrival.

“Bringing in Diaco and his 3-4 defense was a fantastic move to jumpstart a Nebraska defense… Although his three-season tenure as UConn’s head coach was lackluster, the Huskies’ defense was hardly the main issue.”

To Becht’s latter point, even in last year’s 3-9 season, the Connecticut defense finished No. 65 in the country in both scoring and total defense, allowing 28.1 points and 410.8 total yards per game.

Santucci reunites with Elko as analyst
Notre Dame added Tyler Santucci to its staff as a defensive analyst. Footballscoop.com first reported the hire Wednesday, and Santucci’s Twitter appears to confirm the move.

Santucci worked as a graduate assistant under Elko in the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Wake Forest, focusing on the rover position in Elko’s defensive scheme. He most recently spent a season at Texas State as the outside linebackers coach.