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Brown exploring options in football program

Joe Hettler | Friday, January 14, 2005

Charlie Weis and his new Notre Dame coaching staff have Super Bowl and national championship rings, head coaching experience and numerous accolades and awards to their collective names.

They don’t, however, have a Heisman Trophy winner. At least not yet.

Former Irish great and 1987 Heisman winner, Tim Brown, was at Notre Dame on Thursday to explore a possible return to South Bend to become involved with the football program in some manner, Associate Athletic Director John Heisler said Thursday evening. Brown cannot help with recruiting unless he is hired by the University, either as a coach or graduate assistant.

“He was here,” Heisler said. “He is similar to a number of former players who have expressed interest in helping the football team.”

Brown, who recently finished his 17th season in the NFL, has been one of the greatest wide receivers in history. The longtime Los Angeles/Oakland Raider has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls, caught 1,094 receptions and amassed 14, 934 yards receiving as well as 100 career receiving touchdowns. He spent last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 16 years with the Raiders.

Heisler said Brown is trying to plan his future and looking into all possible opportunities – from playing another season to assessing several business ventures.

“I’m not sure where it goes from here,” Heisler said. “He has a lot of options. I can’t speak for him. He’s just exploring his options and figuring out, ‘Where does my life go from here?'”

Brown is Notre Dame’s seventh and most recent Heisman Trophy winner, awarded to college football’s best player on a yearly basis. As a senior, he had 39 catches for 846 yards and three touchdowns while also carrying the ball 34 times for 144 yards and returning three punts for scores.

Against Michigan State in Notre Dame’s second game of the season, Brown put his name in the mix of possible Heisman candidates by taking two punts back for touchdowns in a 31-8 Irish victory.

The second return was especially impressive, as Brown broke numerous tackles before juking one last Spartan defender en route to the score.