Five members of the Notre Dame football team had been sidelined for over a month as the university conducted an investigation into alleged academic fraud. The fates of four of the five had been determined in the last week or so, leaving Eilar Hardy as the only one whose future at the school, good or bad, wasn’t known.
That changed Thursday when head coach Brian Kelly revealed that the seldom-used Hardy could return to practice at the end of this month. Kelly said that the player has some cleaning up of his academic house to complete before he can return to the team.
“We have some work to do in terms of his academic work he’s working on right now in terms of trying to get that organized, but if we’re able to get some of those things organized, we’re going to bring him back to practice after we get back from the bye,” said Kelly. “We have some things to work on — he’s working on right now, some of his classes, things of that nature — but I’ve invited him back on the roster to practice and then we’ll take it from there.”
Following this weekend’s huge game against fellow unbeaten Florida State, the Irish go on a bye the weekend prior to their annual game against Navy.
Should Hardy, who’s played in 10 games the past three seasons, return, he’d be the only one of the five to do so this season. And one of the three planning on returning to the team at some point in the future.
Late last week, it was reported that KeiVarae Russell would sit out the remainder of the 2014 season but would return to the Irish football team in 2015. Kelly confirmed the same tack for defensive end Ishaq Williams a few days later.
The father of wide receiver DaVaris Daniels tweeted earlier this week that his son “is done at Notre Dame,” while linebacker Kendall Moore took to social media the same day to confirm his time in South Bend had come to an end.