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Notre Dame's Line In The Sand


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There's a reason why Urban Meyer asked for 5 academic exceptions per year when he considered the Notre Dame job back in December of 2004. He knew that to win national championships and to consistently be a Top 10 program he needed elite players-particularly on the defensive front- where the pool of elite players with high grade point averages is small. Notre Dame declined his request and he left for Florida, who gave him what he wanted. Subsequently, he went 57-9 with two National Championships in 5 years. He's now got OSU 11-1 and in playoff contention. I have no doubt that if Notre Dame would have given Urban Meyer what he wanted, and Meyer chose to return to Notre Dame, that we would be an elite program.

 

Many Notre Dame fans no doubt support this sticking to academic principals. However, is it unreasonable to think that having 24% of our scholarship football players as academic exceptions -as long as they are good citizens- is not that much of a compromise to Notre Dame's integrity if it keeps Notre Dame's cherished football tradition alive? Would it really impact Notre Dame's academic mission's integrity in theology, science, business and engineering undergrad and research?

 

This to me is the main question for Notre Dame and its fan base. I think it's clear that as long as we have this academic line in the sand that Notre Dame football as it once was is over. No first tier coach is going to come and no second tier coach is going to overcome the disadvantages. This is the main question facing Notre Dame football. It's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned, but I'm interested what other fans think.

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I honestly think this 2014 ND team had the talent to win 10 games or more. It just fell apart because of injury and Golson's hilariously bad decision making.

 

I don't know if talent is the real problem facing this program. If you're asking for my opinion, I wouldn't be against allowing exceptions, but I don't think that's the real core problem.

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I honestly think this 2014 ND team had the talent to win 10 games or more. It just fell apart because of injury and Golson's hilariously bad decision making.

 

I don't know if talent is the real problem facing this program. If you're asking for my opinion, I wouldn't be against allowing exceptions, but I don't think that's the real core problem.

 

Thanks for your opinion ColinKSU

 

I've been hearing that talent isn't the real reason for failure since 1996, but the results speak for themselves.

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Absolutely.

 

We should have won vs. FSU...

We should have won vs. ASU...

We should have won vs. Northwestern...

We should have won vs. Louisville...

 

But we didn't. And I've seen the same kind of rationalizations under Davie, Willingham, Weis and now Kelly. Can anybody say with confidence that we're poised for national prominence when we still have to recruit 250 pound tight ends and hope to convert them to defensive tackles?

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But we didn't. And I've seen the same kind of rationalizations under Davie, Willingham, Weis and now Kelly. Can anybody say with confidence that we're poised for national prominence when we still have to recruit 250 pound tight ends and hope to convert them to defensive tackles?

 

We were one disputed bullsh!t call from knocking off the reigning National Championship team and Heisman trophy winner, so I'd say we'd have some national prominence.

 

I think we have a decidedly different last half of the season if we had won that game (injuries aside).

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Is 5 academic exceptions going to make Notre Dame any more of a national contender than they already are? I don't really think so.

 

Sure, you might get some more DLine players, but how many of the guys you are referring to would want to leave Alabama, Texas, Florida, California etc. to come to ND to begin with? Then how many would want to stay once they got here?

 

It is one thing to allow those players in, it is entirely another to have them succeed and stay eligible at ND. Unless you are suggesting creating "football majors' as well and not forcing them to succeed academically, which would then carry over to every player, so you would essentially undermine the entire academic reputation of the team.

 

All that said, again, is talent the issue, or team management? Remember when ND turned away Tommy Schutt? Wouldn't he look pretty good at D tackle? Remember when ND only recruited 1-2 true ILB Kelly's first two years here? Wouldn't another senior ILB look pretty good right now?

 

Yes, some extra bodies would be nice, but are those few bodies going to put you on par with what Alabama or FSU can bring in? I don't think so. As others have said, talent didn't lose the games ND lost this year, poor coaching and QB play did. Would having more talent make up for poor coaching? Sure. But at the same time, ND had a 5* RB sit on the bench all most of the year.

 

To summarize, I don't think more players in the answer necessarily. I think getting the most out of the players ND has is more than enough to create a consistent 9-11 win team, who can make a playoff run every few years with the right QB.

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Is 5 academic exceptions going to make Notre Dame any more of a national contender than they already are? I don't really think so.

 

Sure, you might get some more DLine players, but how many of the guys you are referring to would want to leave Alabama, Texas, Florida, California etc. to come to ND to begin with? Then how many would want to stay once they got here?

 

It is one thing to allow those players in, it is entirely another to have them succeed and stay eligible at ND. Unless you are suggesting creating "football majors' as well and not forcing them to succeed academically, which would then carry over to every player, so you would essentially undermine the entire academic reputation of the team.

 

All that said, again, is talent the issue, or team management? Remember when ND turned away Tommy Schutt? Wouldn't he look pretty good at D tackle? Remember when ND only recruited 1-2 true ILB Kelly's first two years here? Wouldn't another senior ILB look pretty good right now?

 

Yes, some extra bodies would be nice, but are those few bodies going to put you on par with what Alabama or FSU can bring in? I don't think so. As others have said, talent didn't lose the games ND lost this year, poor coaching and QB play did. Would having more talent make up for poor coaching? Sure. But at the same time, ND had a 5* RB sit on the bench all most of the year.

 

To summarize, I don't think more players in the answer necessarily. I think getting the most out of the players ND has is more than enough to create a consistent 9-11 win team, who can make a playoff run every few years with the right QB.

 

5 exceptions a year....that's 20 players in a 4 year period. Could you imagine this team with 20 more or different 4/5 star players?

There are a lot of guys we turn away for grades. Last year, I remember McKenzie was one of them. Tremendous playmaker for UGA as a freshman already.

Edited by PJackson'sDred15
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We were one disputed bullsh!t call from knocking off the reigning National Championship team and Heisman trophy winner, so I'd say we'd have some national prominence.

 

Then we lost four out of the next five, culminating in a loss that had Sarkesian hated us like Jimmy Johnson would have rivaled the 1985 humiliation.

 

I think we have a decidedly different last half of the season if we had won that game (injuries aside).

 

 

Injuries happen and freshman have to play like USC's did. But if you cannot plug in ready-to-play players, you get humiliated against good competition. That is the entire point of the idea of academic exceptions, particularly along the line, it allows you to recruit players that are physically ready immediately instead of having to recruit projects.

 

You believe we should overcome the line in the stand. I understand and appreciate your response. You can have the last word, but I hope to hear from others as well.

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5 exceptions a year....that's 20 players in a 4 year period. Could you imagine this team with 20 more or different 4/5 star players?

There are a lot of guys we turn away for grades. Last year, I remember McKenzie was one of them. Tremendous playmaker for UGA as a freshman already.

 

We didnt turn McKenzie because of grades, he spurned us at the end. Grades were and issue during the process, but i think he could have or did take care of them easily. I may be wrong, as i have slept since then.

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Is 5 academic exceptions going to make Notre Dame any more of a national contender than they already are? I don't really think so.

 

It is one thing to allow those players in, it is entirely another to have them succeed and stay eligible at ND. Unless you are suggesting creating "football majors' as well and not forcing them to succeed academically, which would then carry over to every player, so you would essentially undermine the entire academic reputation of the team.

 

I am indeed suggesting there is a program for the academic exceptions. I really don't care about the academic reputation of the football program, but I think we'd still be able to recruit the cream of the crop who are both very good students and Athletes. Our business school, engineering, pre med programs etc. would still be there for the cream of the crop to take advantage of.

 

 

All that said, again, is talent the issue, or team management? Remember when ND turned away Tommy Schutt? Wouldn't he look pretty good at D tackle? Remember when ND only recruited 1-2 true ILB Kelly's first two years here? Wouldn't another senior ILB look pretty good right now?

 

Yet, every coach has these problems with recruiting holes. See a pattern? Why would you expect that to change?

 

Yes, some extra bodies would be nice, but are those few bodies going to put you on par with what Alabama or FSU can bring in? I don't think so. As others have said, talent didn't lose the games ND lost this year, poor coaching and QB play did. Would having more talent make up for poor coaching? Sure. But at the same time, ND had a 5* RB sit on the bench all most of the year.

 

I think ND would be able to compete with Alabama and FSU for these kids given the facilities and national exposure. Holtz did and I believe he was given academic exceptions and then cut off. We have now had 4 coaches since Holtz left in the line in the sand era and they are apparently all poor coaches. But if the line in the sand stays, why would you expect elite coaches to come here?

 

To summarize, I don't think more players in the answer necessarily. I think getting the most out of the players ND has is more than enough to create a consistent 9-11 win team, who can make a playoff run every few years with the right QB.

 

Duly noted. Nobody's been able to make ND a consistent 9-11 program, but hope springs eternal.

Edited by Frankus
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I'm of the firm belief that Meyer never intended to come here once Florida was in the mix. I've got no evidence but he absolutely has the stink of a guy that wants his wins as easy as possible. florida and OSU share the distinction of having the lowest standards and (at their respective times) being easy paths to the NC. ND is neither of those things. Had Florida not been in the mix, he may have come here. But, since they were, he just busied himself making a convenient excuse.

 

By the way, we do have elite dlineman. We just lost one for being a headcase, one to the draft, two to UCLA and one to suspension.

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I'm against the exception. I do think it would open up a bigger pool for us, but I don't want to go there.

 

We are always in on top talent, we just can't close for whatever reason. Think about all the kids on USC that we were in the mix for - they were 3 of their best players and would have been difference makers for us. Smith, Jackson and one of the other guys - can't remember right now, but I kept hearing their names all game.

 

There have been some glaring holes recently, but I think last year's class and this year's class have addressed them - just need to keep it up every year and hope that we don't have unexpected departures.

 

I am for over signing and gray shirting, though...

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