Brian Kelly expects decisions from academic investigation to be “imminent”
Mike Monaco | Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Irish head coach Brian Kelly said he was told Monday decisions regarding the hearings for the five withheld players were “imminent.”
Kelly, speaking at his standard Tuesday press conference, said he believes players could be notified of the decisions Tuesday or Wednesday.
“But I have not, as I stand in front of you, been notified by anybody in the University nor any of our players of any decisions regarding the hearings,” Kelly said.Irish junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell, senior receiver DaVaris Daniels, senior defensive end Ishaq Williams, graduate student linebacker Kendall Moore and senior safety Eilar Hardy have been held out of practice and competition during the probe into “suspected academic dishonesty.”
Kelly said, hypothetically, if players were to be cleared, they could play in limited roles against North Carolina on Saturday.
“Six weeks is a long time,” Kelly said. “There’s no way that somebody’s gonna come back in and start on Saturday. We’ll see how it plays out. If, in fact, we do have a player back, we’ll try to get them an opportunity to contribute. But it would have to be in a limited role.”
Notre Dame announced its investigation Aug. 15. The University said “evidence that students had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others” was initially detected at the end of the summer session and referred to the compliance office in athletics July 29. Notre Dame said the Office of General Counsel then initiated “an immediate investigation.”
Notre Dame released a statement Sunday saying the University will not publicly disclose decisions from the hearings and investigation.
“He’s such a creative person that we don’t want to take away his creativity as a quarterback, but there has to be those fundamentals that we have to drill down and really get to the point where he’s gotta master some of those things,” Kelly said. “And he’s working on them.”
With three fumbles (two lost) against Syracuse and one more against Stanford on Saturday, Kelly admitted that Golson started working last week on ball-security drills like the running backs do.
“I think it’s a matter of him understanding how important ball security is, but we’ll continue to do that drill,” Kelly said.
Kelly said he doesn’t think he would pull Golson from a game unless he were injured.
Tussle with the Tar Heels
A week after Stanford and Notre Dame combined for 31 points on a rainy afternoon, the Irish and Tar Heels could be primed for a high-scoring affair Saturday.
North Carolina boasts an up-tempo offense to go along with a defense that has allowed an average of 51.3 points during the last three games.
“Offensively, we’re going to have to score points because this is going to be a game where there’s going to be points put up on the scoreboard,” Kelly said. “We’ve gotta hold up our end offensively and take care of the football.”
The Tar Heels have forced 12 turnovers — tied for the 17th-most in the nation.
Offensively, North Carolina junior quarterback Marquise Williams directs the young, athletic unit.
“They’re playing a lot of young players, very difficult to defend offensively,” Kelly said. “They play very fast — probably the fastest offense, in terms of tempo, that we’ll see this year.”
Tar Heels sophomore receiver Ryan Switzer leads the team with 24 receptions for 269 yards and a touchdown. Kelly compared the shifty Switzer to Denver Broncos slot receiver Wes Welker and also said Switzer is like “[former Irish receiver] Robby Toma with a little bit more speed.”
The Irish square of with North Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.