It has already been a tough 2013 campaign for Notre Dame. The breaks, as George “Gipper” Gipp once said, have certainly been beating the boys.
Irish football dropped to 0-2 with Wednesday’s shocking letter-of-intent ruling defeat to UCLA.
It was the second huge loss of the year after the Irish’s humbling January defeat to Alabama in the BCS title game.
UCLA shook down some of its own thunder when the NCAA National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee released star recruit Eddie Vanderdoes to play immediately for the Bruins.
Vanderdoes originally committed to Notre Dame before announcing, for personal reasons, he wanted to attend UCLA instead.
This still being America, Irish Coach Brian Kelly couldn’t force Vanderdoes to play in South Bend. But Kelly did try to force Vanderdoes into sitting out next season.
Kelly disagreed with the decision but said in a statement “I understand and respect the entire appeals process.”
Yeah, but I’d like to hear what he said in private.
The appeals committee probably made the right decision. No kid should be force to attend a school he does not want to attend. Coaches are allowed to pick up and leave without penalty. Chip Kelly ran out on Oregon without ever saying goodbye.
This is also a slippery slope. In terms of transferring back home for personal reasons, there sure appear to be a lot of sick grandmothers popping up these days.
The NCAA might need to shore up this loophole, although I’m really sure how. You can’t know what’s in a player’s heart or subpoena grandma’s medical records ... or maybe you should?
The story for now is Man bites Dog, the fact that one of the nation’s top defensive line prospects chose UCLA over Notre Dame.
It was a huge coup for UCLA Coach Jim Mora and a sign the Bruins could be back in the national discussion.
The good news: Notre Dame should improve its 2013 record to 1-2 with a season-opening win over Temple.