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Kelly: Golson won’t be handed Irish starting job

Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Golson throws a pass in the third quarterr of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in Miami Reuters

Upon hearing the news that Everett Golson had been reinstated to Notre Dame last month, it was assumed — a very safe assumption — that the quarterback would slide seamlessly back into his role as the Irish’s starter at the position.

While that will very likely be the case when the Irish take the field for their 2014 opener Aug. 30 against Rice, Golson’s head coach, at least with his public words, will make the junior earn that job back.

Speaking to the media Friday, Brian Kelly warned those assembled against anointing Golson as the starter, going out of his way to praise freshman Malik Zaire as a player who could change the predetermined storylines.

“I just want to caution everybody that we have I think a very good quarterback in Malik Zaire,” Kelly said. “I’m not ready to hand everything over to Everett. I love Everett, he played in the national championship game, but I’m also somebody that wants to make sure the quarterback position is such that we give everybody an opportunity to compete for that position.”

Zaire, a four-star member of the Irish’s 2013 recruiting class, did not see any action as a true freshman last season.  On the other hand…

Golson, in his first season as the Irish’s No. 1 quarterback in 2012, started 11 of the 12 games in which he played in leading Notre Dame to its first unbeaten regular season in more than two decades and a spot in the BCS title game.  With Tommy Rees taking over under center this past season due to Golson’s banishment, the Irish are 8-4.

In late May of last year, Golson was suspended from the university for what was described as an academic violation.  Speculation subsequently surfaced that cheating was involved, with Golson confirming the rumors by acknowledging he had cheated on a final exam.

Golson’s battle to reclaim his starting job will begin in earnest during spring practice.  As the Chicago Tribune writes, however, “it would be quite the upset if Zaire were to overtake Golson on the depth chart.”

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21 Responses to “Kelly: Golson won’t be handed Irish starting job”
  1. prattd2 says: Jan 31, 2014 3:22 PM

    Report: Yes he will.

  2. raiderufan says: Jan 31, 2014 3:27 PM

    Kelly: Golson won’t be handed Irish starting job*wink*

    Fixed that for ya

  3. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Jan 31, 2014 3:28 PM

    Maybe it won’t be handed to Golson. Maybe it will be more of a pitch or quick toss. Hard not to feel that it is not his job to lose.

  4. oldschoollyons says: Jan 31, 2014 3:59 PM

    As you noted, Keith, Kelly said “I want to make sure we give everybody a chance to compete for that position [quarterback].” That is very different from saying that there will be an open competition or that someone else (Zaire) will be in contention for the job or even that anybody else is in the running for the job.

    As we know from the past, when Kelly says “a chance to compete” he means several things: that in practice, others will have a chance to play the position too; that he deems it wise, for whatever reason, to let others believe they are competing for the position; and that he doesn’t want certain players — again for his own reasons — to feel it is futile for him to try to win the job. He wants those players to keep their heads in the game.

    Kelly has said in the past (about Keivarae Russell and Lo Wood) that when others compete for a position, it makes everyone better. As become clear later, Kelly had no thought of anyone but Russell being the starter; but he was more than happy to have Lo Wood “compete for” the position.

    In other words, Kelly often thinks it is good for the team and for certain players to let them “compete” for a position even though he has already decided to give the job to a particular player.

    Besides, Kelly also said that Zaire doesn’t practice that well. So how could he possibly beat out Golson in practice? Kelly also said he didn’t have Zaire’s attention for four or five weeks. Given that, it wouldn’t be smart to signal to Zaire now that he has no chance to start. So Kelly will allow him to “compete” — not to win the job, simply to compete for it.

  5. realfootballfan says: Jan 31, 2014 4:39 PM

    How do you stay at a college when you get caught cheating on a final exam? I know at FSU that was written into the handbook as grounds for dismissal from the university.

  6. jmfinsd says: Jan 31, 2014 5:19 PM

    You’re shittin’ me, right? First, that Golson was expelled and had to be re-admitted was highly publicized, so you’re first sentence is contrary to your alias (realfootballfan). Second, are you really throwing out an FSU academic policy as superior to ND’s? Wow, that’s a first. Where is that written in the handbook, right after “FSU proudly employs parole/probation officers to provide a high level of communication with its football team?”

  7. bigdinla says: Jan 31, 2014 5:46 PM

    Translation: please don’t transfer Malik!

  8. realfootballfan says: Jan 31, 2014 5:58 PM


    Please don’t start with the ND academic superiority trip. It’s a good school and so is FSU. I know my paychecks say so. I was simply asking a pertinent question of how he’s still at the university, let alone getting reinstated to the football team, based on the only academic experience I have available because cheating was grounds for dismissal from the university. But you get out there and act like ND is Harvard, lol. If that makes you feel good, knock yourself out. I suppose you need to do something of the sort since your football program sucks these days.

  9. kcoral says: Jan 31, 2014 6:14 PM

    Yeah! FSU graduates the same number of football players as ND! Well done!

  10. stoicpaisano says: Jan 31, 2014 6:19 PM

    DeShone Kizer Soze apparently has convinced the CFT blogosphere he doesn’t exist…

    He has really good size and looks to throw before running, but can evade and still sling it after being flushed.

  11. realfootballfan says: Jan 31, 2014 6:43 PM


    Like I said, keep going on about Notre Dame like it’s Harvard or Yale, lol. Since your football program is a mid major in comparison to the Alabamas and FSUs of the world these days, I guess you have to tell yourself that. I’m betting that my FSU degree opens just as many doors as one from Notre Dame does. Guess it hurts when what really is an academically superior school like Stanford dominates you in athletics though I suppose.

    But back to the subject for anyone not delusional about Notre Dame being Harvard of the Midwest, I was just wondering about cheating and being able to be reinstated to a college and if this is standard at most universities?

  12. rocket1988 says: Jan 31, 2014 8:44 PM

    He violated the honor code of students and was suspended for the fall. Not the same as cheating. And ND does not cover for their athletes like your football factory at FSU.

  13. rocket1988 says: Jan 31, 2014 8:47 PM

    And we aren’t talking about your paycheck. I’d put ND football alums paycheck against FSU players (notice I didn’t say alums) any day.

  14. realfootballfan says: Jan 31, 2014 9:20 PM


    Like I said, keep talking out of your ass to defend your downtrodden alma mater. It was a simple enough general question to answer without going into your defensive Notre Dame superiority complex because if you haven’t been to FSU, you probably ought to close your mouth about who’s “covering” for Athlete’s academically. Especially when your university officials’ silence in the aftermath of a student, you know, dying on campus due to their negligence is hardly noble and should have gotten everyone from Brian Kelly on down fired since they allowed him to keep filming in hazardous wind conditions, yet none of them took any responsibility for his death. So want to keep playing the Notre Dame superiority act? Okay, didn’t think so. Good night.

  15. rocket1988 says: Feb 1, 2014 12:48 AM

    Go take your in state tuition Free Shoes U boy. Wanna know why ND is superior? Cause your alma mater won a national championship and you’re still worried about ND that’s why. You want throw stones? We can talk about your professors and academic staff being threatened and afraid of everyone on the football programs payroll at Free Shoes U. That’s all you whiny babies want yo talk about is the tragedy in 2010. Yes a young man lost his life and ND has dealt with that. Apparently you all can’t. Get over it, but you can’t understand cause you attended a state school lemming.

  16. realfootballfan says: Feb 1, 2014 2:18 AM

    Clearly, because Notre Dame is a private institution, it must clearly be academically superior. That’s funny. I guess no one told those dopes down at Miami or a lot of other private schools that aren’t anything special academically just like Notre Dame that is private because of the Catholic church funds, not because of any academic excellence.

    Keep going and show more of how stupid you are, especially since I wasn’t from Florida so didn’t get any “in state tuition” like that’s something to be ashamed about to begin with. Also, I suppose you’ve been reading articles on FSU since you are referencing an article written that didn’t concern Notre Dame but did concern FSU, lol.

    Again, asking a general question does bring out some silly people on these blurbs I see. Let’s not talk about the young man that was killed due to the stupidity of Notre Dame officials 4 years ago, but let’s bring up some kids getting a hook up on some shoes 15 years ago, lol.

  17. rocket1988 says: Feb 1, 2014 12:01 PM

    You weren’t from Florida and PICKED FSU? You’re a genius for sure. No comment about your academics when concerned with the football program again. All you can do is talk about what an ass we sound like up here. All we do is watch the interviews after you win a national championship and wonder how these kids on your team are college “athletes.”
    I’m sure no one has ever died at FSU and you’ll all go on thinking that our head coach and AD made this kid sign a death warrant by going up in the scissor lift. We were all saddened by this. But our AD did take responsibility. Also, ND made an effort with the family and took steps to never have it happen again. ND is working with OSHA to educate people because of the tragedy. So get over it and move on. That’s all you guys have anyways.
    But I’m glad that your players got a hook up and you’re proud of that. Just like Peter Warrick in a Dillard’s dept. store. Go CrimiNOLES!

  18. realfootballfan says: Feb 1, 2014 12:26 PM

    No, all I asked was a general question concerning cheating (since that is what the blurb was about) according to university policies in relation to others’ university experiences. Of course, you decided to turn that into how much better a school Notre Dame is, and how “honorable” they are, lol.

    Btw, being accepted to MIT, Stanford, Princeton, and GMI (now known as Kettering University) might let you know I could have gone anywhere I wanted. Since I decided to stay closer to home in a city that was best suited for me and my situation at that time, and the fact that I’ve done pretty well professionally since attending FSU like everyone else I know who attended college with me, I think I made the right choice for me. But like I said, you go on about Notre Dame’s academic “honor” on a football site, trying to belittle others because you obviously feel insecure about something when the question was pretty harmless and easy to answer. Only idiots would sit around years after they’ve graduated from college (if you actually even went to Notre Dame to begin with), acting like that defines them, so carry on idiot.

  19. realfootballfan says: Feb 1, 2014 12:33 PM


    One more thing, when you’re talking about what someone “sounds” like on TV after playing the barbaric sport of football, it just exposes you as the idiotic bigoted jackass that you are when you took a general, harmless question about how cheating is usually handled at most schools to try to assume you are somehow intellectually superior to people you don’t even know.

    And doing all of that elitist jackassery on a football website. Have a nice day.

  20. rocket1988 says: Feb 1, 2014 10:05 PM

    Let it go. Geez, we are all tired of listening you be the “voice” of reason.

  21. rocket1988 says: Feb 1, 2014 10:16 PM

    It doesn’t matter if I went to ND or not. You’re the one who is belittling everyone on an ND article. Stop worrying about ND being the Harvard of the Midwest. We are not worried about being Harvard, ND is committed to being the #1 Catholic university. Get a life and have fun with your national championship hater.

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