Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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6 JUNE/JULY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FAN FORUM THAT'S SMARTS! While I was pleased to read in your outstanding publica- tion that two Notre Dame stu- dents were awarded Rhodes Scholarships in 2016 (Christina Watkins and Alexis Doyle), it appears that current Notre Dame student body president — Corey Robinson — did not receive that honor as well. Certainly, his credentials merit consideration. He was able to obtain his undergrad- uate degree in three years while on the Dean's List and served the university as an outstanding football athlete until concussion protocol ended that endeavor. Corey also found time in his student-athlete demands to participate in numerous charitable outreach pro- grams, many which he per- sonally established. The decision to deny him the Rhodes honor was not perspicacious nor cogent, and deserves rectitude. Dr. David R. Federick, '63 Marina del Rey, Calif. Dr. Federick, it should be noted that while he did not receive a Rhodes Schol- arship, Corey Robinson's long list of achievements did not go unnoticed. On May 5, along with graduate soccer play- ers Evan Panken and Michael Shipp, he was the recipient of one of the NCAA's most prestigious honors — an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. The trio be- came the 56th, 57th and 58th Notre Dame student-athletes to win the award. The NCAA postgraduate scholarships are one-time, non-renewable educational grants of $7,500. Fifty-eight student- athletes — 29 men and 29 women — are recipients from the fall season. Robinson — the first Notre Dame football player to receive the honor since 2008 (John Carlson) and the 18th overall — graduated with a degree from the pres- tigious program of liberal studies, added a minor in sustainability and boasted a 3.836 cumulative grade-point average. He will spend a summer internship in New York at Gagosian, a contemporary art gallery. FAKE NEWS? There is a lot of malarkey floating around the Notre Dame football pro- gram these days. • Brian Kelly is quoted as saying in your April edition "anytime you take a different approach to the way you're doing things on a day-to-day basis, it has a tendency to move you in a different way." That is a thought devoid of any- thing except hot air. • And "the biggest difference (from 2016 to now) is that we're all talking the same language." Just what was going on last year and before — coaches weren't speak- ing the same language? • Obvious lack of stamina and strength is peppered with, per Kelly, "the players (in 2016) could not achieve the success they desired in the weight room. We couldn't give them what they wanted. It had become clear … the previous regime was not capable of achieving these results." Kelly was and is that "previous regime." What did former strength and conditioning coach Paul Longo do — lock the players out of the weight room? Did Kelly ig- nore this problem or hope it would disappear? Did BGI fail to see what was going on or chose to bury it? Either way, readers were and re- main uninformed. That does not serve BGI's credibility. • Defeatism seems to have invaded even your view of the program. You say Notre Dame has an issue of "attri- tion." Yes. Why? Alabama, Ohio State and numerous other schools lose players to the NFL before the players exhaust their eligibility. • Naturally, you do not want to damage Notre Dame's prod- uct or its chances on the field, but you should be realistic in your published statements. Saying that the Irish "closed strong" in its 2017 recruiting is true in the sense that they got players to accept scholarships. But the nearly annual abandonment of Notre Dame by committed high school stars is a failure by Kelly and his staff. That "decommitments" happen elsewhere and on occasion to Notre Dame's ben- efit does not negate the failure by Kelly. (Editor's note: Under Kelly, the Irish have signed 42 players who originally commit- ted elsewhere while losing 27 who first pledged to Notre Dame.) • Despite all the comments made about the new recruits, no one looks at the group and thinks Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, USC, etc. • Regarding the recruiting pro- gram, "two years ago (Mike Elston) was tasked with creating an opera- tion that would put the program in position to land championship-cali- ber recruiting hauls year after year." Why did Kelly not create this op- eration five years earlier when he began at Notre Dame? It was only after 2016's 4-8 record and loss of five assistant coaches that Elston saw that "the operation needed a plan to build relationships (with recruits) much earlier that it previously had?" So now with the new staff "there's an understanding and a clear vision of how it needs to work." Well, good. One assumes that previous staff members had an understanding and vision, and what were the results? BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007 Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: Corey Robinson, who served as a student assistant for Notre Dame in 2016 after a three-year career as a wide receiver, was one of three Irish student- athletes to receive an NCAA postgraduate scholarship this year. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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