Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2020

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

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Page 4 of 83 MARCH 2020 5 FAN FORUM NEW EXPERIENCE I just got through listening to Lou Somogyi and Vince DeDario's podcast regarding the promotion of Tommy Rees to offensive coordi- nator. Thank you for the effort and depth you instill in each episode. You both note the indication that Notre Dame went through a "na- tionwide search" before naming the native son OC was a bit superflu- ous. I don't necessarily disagree, but I would counter that it was a neces- sary step. Yes, Rees may have been the front- runner from the start, and an easy choice for Brian Kelly if this was his predetermined pathway. However, for a 27-year-old, up-and-coming tal- ent like Rees, it is vital that he legiti- mately competes for the job. Though I imagine he was confident in selling himself for the job, I would surmise that his level of assuredness was probably somewhere less than 50 percent. There aren't that many major D-1 OC's below the age of 30. Therefore, Tommy feeling the pres- sure of competing with a national cadre of talent (whether true or as a stalking horse) is something that any up-and-coming executive or colle- giate coach should experience. There are too many examples of people that have been handed a posi- tion either through nepotism or cro- nyism that evolve from an entitled perspective. Unfortunately, these individuals usually never gain the respect of the organization and gen- erally underperform expectations. Sure, I would have enjoyed read- ing about Notre Dame hiring the next genius, boy wonder, or estab- lished proven winner that is up and coming among the upper echelon of programs. Time will tell if that individual isn't our own Tommy Rees. In the meantime, let's celebrate the reason that Notre Dame approached the hiring process in the manner it did. For Tommy Rees, welcome to competitive America. This is how you earn your position. Bruce A. Vaio San Antonio QB QUANDARY The news of the return of Ian Book in 2020 as the quarterback concerns me for a number of reasons. We have not seen any extensive game-time performances of Book's backups and now this list will con- tinue to grow, or maybe not. My concern is these other scholarship quarterbacks might transfer, after all the preparation and grooming to get them ready to lead the team. Addi- tionally, recent 2020 and 2021 quar- terback commits might change their minds and accept offers elsewhere. It appears projections are already being made on possible Notre Dame records Book may be able to attain with his return in 2020. I realize Ian's experience and other talents could bring him huge personal ac- colades, but at what cost to the team as whole? I am not anti-Ian Book and actually feel he did a good job. However, we continue to hear how he can and should improve but I've not seen enough improvement to want me to see him again next year. It does scare me on who the next man in will be, but I look forward to new blood at the helm. Go Irish! Jack L. Schneider Marquette, Mich. Mr. Schneider, former columnist Ann Landers' foremost advice to women con- templating divorce was to ask, "Are you better off with him or without him?" That is how a football staff has to look at such personnel matters. Is the 2020 Notre Dame team better off with Book or without him? The answer was it would be better with him. If the coaches felt someone was better, they would have wanted him to play. Transfers will always be inevitable, particularly at quarterback, and it hap- pened with Phil Jurkovec. This is not exclusive to Notre Dame. In the last three years, Georgia lost two five-star quarterbacks to transfer — Jacob Eason (Washington) and Jus- tin Fields (Ohio State) — because they weren't going to play ahead of another five-star player (Jake Fromm). Meanwhile, Ohio State lost a three- star prospect (Joe Burrow) to national champion LSU because it had a first- round player (Dwayne Haskins) already there. If you're going to recruit at a high level, transfers at quarterback are un- avoidable. FROM THE WEB The news of 2020 recruit and cornerback Landen Bartleson having his scholarship foot- ball scholarship revoked by Notre Dame be- cause of a crime spree Jan. 24 that included auto theft, burglary and possession of stolen weapons led subscribers on to question the vetting process by the football office. Here were a few sample opinions. Jpm34_NDFI: I am surprised that there didn't appear to be a red flag in his background that went unnoticed. PayThePiper416: They didn't miss the "I'm gonna rob a gun store" red flag. There just wasn't one. Fedman: With the limited in-person contact the coaches have with a recruit, there is no guarantee that the coaches will get a perfect read on a kid. The school has to rely a lot on what teachers and high school coaches say about the recruit. But I would put Notre Dame's batting aver- age on finding the right fits for their school up against any other school in the country. JMurphy163: I don't know a thing about this kid or what ND did or didn't do, but to jump to the conclusion ND screwed up in their process is crazy. Kid could turn out like Aaron Hernandez and we can all feel great we dodged a bullet. Kid could turn out like Randy Moss and we will all be reading about the one we should have done more to keep. KWSUSMC: The CIA and FBI do extensive background checks on all prospective employ- ees. Yet, there have been many who have got- ten through the vetting process: Robert Hans- sen, John Anthony Walker Jr., Harold Glasser, Elizabeth Bentley, Nathan Silvermaster … Mrmean58: Many states limit information or access to information of minors. Schools have to try to put together information they gather by talking to those around him. Also consider that many states do not allow for background information of minors to be disclosed without both parents' written permission. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: JOIN THE CONVERSATION! GET A 60-DAY FREE TRIAL WITH CODE IRISH60

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