Academics has once again claimed a key member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The father of Greg Bryant confirmed to IrishIllustrated.com that his son has been declared academically ineligible and will not play for the Irish in 2015. Greg Bryant Sr. added that his running back son will not be reporting with the team for summer camp, although he will return to campus as a student later this month.
What his football future holds beyond that is unclear, whether he sits a season and returns next year like Everett Golson or if he transfers out as others before him have done.
Back in June, it was reported that Bryant would be suspended for the first four games of the year, with the speculation on that punitive matter centering on academics. At least according to the father, Bryant was thiiis close to making the grade.
Regardless of how close he was, Bryant’s absence will serve as somewhat of a blow to the Irish ground attack.
Last season, Bryant’s 289 yards rushing were good for second on the team. As our own JJ Stankevitz explained at the time of the initial report, though, the loss Bryant does not necessarily serve as a death knell for that facet of the offense, although that was in the context of a four-game suspension and not a season-long loss.
While the optics of suspending a former big-time recruit aren’t good, there’s reason to think Notre Dame can absorb his absence with the backfield combination of [quarterback Malik] Zaire, Tarean Folston and C.J. Prosise. In a 31-28 Music City Bowl win over LSU, those three players handled 46 of Notre Dame’s 51 carries and totaled 244 of its 263 yards.
UPDATED 4:44 p.m. ET: In a statement, head coach Brian Kelly confirmed that Bryant will not play for Notre Dame in 2015.
“There are certain expectations within our program that must be met on a daily basis,” Kelly said, adding, “quite simply, Greg did not meet those expectations.”
The school added that Bryant will remain on scholarship and can practice with the Irish, but he will not occupy a spot on the 105-man roster.