August 2011 Archives
Defense aware of Daniels | That's what he said | Defensive depth chart breakdown
Offensive depth chart breakdown | Frosh will do dumb stuff | Skip excited about return
Title absolutely a possibility | Two better than one? | Irish prep for opener | Carlson out
Challenges ahead | Doyle reorganizes | More special delivery | Kelly sees familiar faces
Finding a left guard | Tailoring the defense | New path | Bulls charge north | Hungry man
Knowledge helps Kelly | Defensive line starters happy for backup | Business trip
Floyd leads offense | Holtz makes return
Men's Lacrosse: MLL recap
Women's Tennis: Former All-American returns
Men's Golf: Scodro seeks title
Volleyball: California girls run to play
Cross Country: Men ranked 23rd
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick wants the school to stay as an independent in football.
But even though Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick is friends with Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, that doesn't mean his school ready to give up football independence.
"Our priority - and our clear priority - is maintaining our football independence and continuing to build our relationship with the Big East with our other sports," Swarbrick told the Austin American-Statesman.
Notre Dame and Texas are have a four-game series scheduled to start in 2015 and include dates in 2016, 2019 and 2020. It will be the first time the schools have met since 1996. But don't expect to see them playing as conference opponents any time soon.
"I don't know if it would ever be an annual game, but we do want to play more games with Texas and play them in more sports," Swarbrick said. "Both schools are committed to athletic programs that have excellence."
When the Big Ten announced its plans to explore expansion in December of 2009, Notre Dame was an obvious candidate. Swarbrick says that experience led him to put little weight into what was being reported by the media.
"One thing I can tell you from what I know last year," Swarbrick said, "almost none of the speculation was accurate."
Regis to emcee boxing match | Youth is served | No easing for Daniels | Daniels confident
Holtz readies | Win would be historic | Focused on USF | Five things to watch
Kelly not worried about players | Holtz won't attend game | In Goodman's hands
Strong start, close are key | Potential traffic nightmare | Wood focuses
Rough start, tough luck | Fiesta? | Honest body shop | Floyd's health plan
Wood's breakout | Alford's relationship strong
Men's Tennis: Inspired by travel
Women's Golf: Holt emphasizes recruiting
Track & Field: Huddle hindered by injury
Men's Soccer: Powers eyes title
Volleyball: McHugh named player of the week
It was only a year ago that Clausen was the rookie quarterback that Carolina Panther fans were excited about in the preseason. Now he has been elbowed out of the way by "Cam Mania" and serves as the Panthers' No. 2 quarterback, both literally and figuratively, to rookie Cam Newton.
Newton grabs every headline. Every picture. Every TV clip. Our newspaper is as guilty as anyone - I'm as guilty as anyone - of writing about him incessantly. Somehow we missed working Cam into our Hurricane Irene coverage.
Yet Clausen hasn't gone anywhere. He will likely play a good bit in the Panthers' final exhibition against Pittsburgh Thursday night since his injured leg has started to heal.
Clausen hasn't had a bad preseason, either. He has a completion percentage 18 points higher than Newton's in the three exhibitions (58.6 to 40.4) and a quarterback rating 15 points higher (72.9 to 57.8). Unnoticed by almost everyone, he is actually doing a few things better than he did last year.
Clausen thought for a few moments last Thursday night, though, that he might have suffered a severe injury when he got hit in the pocket.
"I got rolled up on," he said. "I had a thigh bruise, and my knee buckled a little bit. I thought it was a lot worse than it was. It just kind of scared me, to be honest."
He has been throwing the ball decently in practice the past two days, though. Said coach Ron Rivera Monday of Clausen: "He had the banged-up leg the other day. He got a few reps today and looked pretty good actually. We expect - if Jimmy gets the go-ahead to play - to play him."
Clausen has kept his head down amid the Cam-fest and concentrated on small signs of progress.
"Each and every day," Clausen said, "I'm trying to keep getting quicker on my reads and my drops."
He went 1-9 as a starter in 2010, becoming the symbol of a lost Panthers season. He was battered, jittery and the leader of the NFL's worst offense. Thrown into a situation not of his making, he tried his best but could do nothing to fix it.
Clausen started the first exhibition this season - throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown but also a TD pass - and has given way to Newton for the past two starts. It's clear the Panthers want Newton to be their regular-season starter in 2011, and given the rookie's big-play capability, I agree with that.
Give Clausen some credit, though, for doing what he should and preparing like he could play at any minute. Because he might.
Given the way Newton likes to run with the ball, along with the size and speed of the NFL defenders chasing him, Clausen will undoubtedly get in some real games in 2011.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson recently told my Observer colleague Tom Sorensen that he nicknamed Clausen "Doughboy" last season owing to Clausen's physique. Clausen looks less doughy and seems a little calmer in the pocket, although he remains prone to throwing to his safety valve too early.
The second-year quarterback from Notre Dame has his limitations, to be sure. And if Clausen plays Thursday night - Rivera hasn't announced how long Newton will play, but I'd guess not much more than the first quarter - we will see them again.
Clausen is not as good as Panthers fans hoped he would be when he became the team's second-round draft pick in 2010, but he's also not as bad as he seemed last season.
He remains an important part of the Panthers, which is part of the reason Rivera was screaming at some of the offensive line reserves after the play in Cincinnati where Clausen was hurt. So his mild improvement needs to be noted. The backup quarterback will be needed this season.
Because while Newton is very photogenic, he is far from superhuman.
During his playing days on the gridiron, he was known by fans and teammates as one of the greatest wide receivers in school history. The Heisman Trophy voters recognized him in 1964, as he finished fifth in the voting after his senior season behind teammate John Huarte. Snow then played professionally for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams from 1965 to 1975.
Today, Snow is being remembered for another reason. Following his death in January 2006, it was his daughter, Stephanie Snow Gebel, who attempted to find a way to honor her father.
She decided to create the Jack and J.T. Snow Fund in early 2011 - named after her father and brother - just a few months after her five-year old daughter, Raquel, was diagnosed with Wolfram Syndrome.
"My father had passed, and I wanted to honor him in some way," Gebel said. "Three weeks after my daughter was diagnosed with Wolfram Syndrome, I met with researchers who were recently denied a grant, which meant there was no money to hold clinics. This is when God told me, 'O.K. kid, here is your chance.' "
Chicago Sun-Times - Anyone worrying about Manti Te'o becoming distracted by his NFL future heading into his junior season at Notre Dame underestimates the tao of Te'o.
The All-American candidate doesn't sit around dreaming about the NFL.
His dreams are bigger than that.
"Ever since I was young I understood the whole meaning of life isn't how much money you can accumulate, how much fame you experience, it's how many lives you touch, how many faces you bring smiles to," the linebacker said when asked how he envisions himself in 20 years. "I see myself back in Hawaii doing something in the community to improve the lives of young children. Everything I've done is to prepare myself to give back."
Notre Dame lacks depth at all the offensive skill positions and is so thin at running back that a pair of freshmen can expect meaningful carries. Converted running back Theo Riddick is still learning how to play receiver. The offense is led by Dayne Crist, who has suffered two major knee injuries the past two seasons.
There are no such concerns for a defense that should rank among the nation's best. The heart of that unit is Te'o. The 6-foot-2, 255- pounder is projected as a high first-round draft pick should he chose to go pro after this season, yet when he talks about making an impact, it has nothing to do with the team-high 133 tackles he made last season.
"Being a leader," he said, when asked how he can improve. "Being that constant force out there, that guy that no matter what's happening on the field or going on on the sidelines, my teammates can turn to me and I can pick them up. I just want to be that guy they can trust and just try and have an influence on them they haven't had. What I'm trying to say is, I want to have an impact on them beyond football."
Eight defensive players who started at least eight games last season return. Those players have gained confidence playing in defensive coordinator Bob Diaco's system. It's an athletic group with standouts along the defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary, where Harrison Smith returns after making 93 tackles and intercepting seven passes.
"He's clearly, from our standpoint, our best linebacker," Kelly said. "Now how we compare him to everybody else in the country, we don't spend that much time doing that. I'll let you guys do that. We look at him as a very, very integral part as to what we're doing defensively. He hasn't disappointed any day in terms of how he comes out to practice, his leadership, whether he's having a bad day or not. It never affects the other guys on the field. He just has all those qualities you're looking for."
The better Te'o and the Irish do this season the more he may be tempted to follow Golden Tate and Jimmy Clausen to the NFL. Either way, he'll handle that the same way he made the decision to come to Notre Dame. A devout Mormon, Te'o prays and waits for a sign from above.
"I love football," he said. "There's no doubt about that but I know life is more than football. Football will provide me with the means to give back. The amount of revenue I get from football and the amount of attention I get from football will hopefully provide me with the stage so people can know what I do -- not for me. I don't want the spotlight for me, but so they'll be influenced to do something like that, to touch somebody else."
Te'o will never forget the day he and his father spotted a homeless man begging for money by a stoplight in his hometown of Laie. He asked his father why some people were so poor they had to beg. His father said something he'll never forgot: "People like that are here to find out whether or not we'll help."
From that moment, what Te'o has wanted most, even more than an NFL career, is to help others.
"People know Hawaii for the tropical beaches but if you go on one side of the island, where I'm from, those beaches are filled with homeless families," he said. "When I leave college and hopefully the connections I make and the education I receive can help guide me through the possibilities and different routes I can go to to have the greatest impact on people."
Chicago Tribune - In Golden Tate's final two seasons at Notre Dame (2008-09), the Seattle Seahawks receiver caught 110 passes for 1,983 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 18 yards per catch.
"Man, I honestly try not to think about it because it's almost bittersweet. Every day life, it's not like every other college, it's almost like a fantasy world.
"What I remembered the most was just on game days, man - from the time you got off the bus to go to the basilica until the night when you leave the stadium, it's just something I don't think anyone can really experience unless you're at Notre Dame. Waking up, eating breakfast, going to the basilica, getting you some Jesus in your life, walking probably half a mile to the stadium with tons and tons and tons of people wearing my jersey and The Shirt and just cheering. Finally getting to the stadium and then you go out to warmup and you can see Touchdown Jesus, you can see what you see in "Rudy." You want to respect and represent the university and the tradition they have every time you stepped foot on the field.
"It never got old. It never got old. Every single game we played when I was there, it was sold out. Every time I'd walk from the basilica to the stadium, you got that tingle in your body. You wanted to play right now, because you have people flying and driving from all over the country, coming to see the Irish play. Some people, it'd be their first time they'd never forget. I always thought about it like that."
Hicks wore the headset for one of the most memorable calls in Summer Olympics history when the U.S. 4x100 free relay squad rallied from behind to capture the gold medal in Beijing.
The action gets good around the 5:00 and the money sound bite comes at 5:42 - when Hicks loses all objectivity and says, "Who's talking now?!"
One can only wonder what he'll come up with when Notre Dame scores its first touchdown of the 2011 campaign.
Classic. Almost Gus Johnson-esque.
Irish UNDerground checks in with Kevin Dugan from the world's newest nation - South Sudan.
Juba, South Sudan - Amid the dusty dirt roads of Juba, South Sudan, there is an echoing message of unity, peace and joy being delivered. The message is coming from all angles; via the national newspapers, television, radio and believe it or not, mobile DJs driving through the streets. All channels of communication are spreading the good news, whether the media platform is South Sudan TV or via Land Cruisers equipped with generators and audio systems to communicate to the thousands of internally displaced people in temporary housing throughout Juba.
The message: Come out and support South Sudan basketball through Notre Dame's Playing for Peace basketball initiative that has arrived in South Sudan, the world's newest nation.
The initiative, started by the Notre Dame men's lacrosse and men's basketball teams has been taken to South Sudan by Kevin Dugan, manager of youth and community programs for the Notre Dame athletics department. Dugan is on location in South Sudan for 10 days of international sports development work. South Sudan just received its independence and now faces an incredible challenge of nation building while uniting a region of the world that is heavily divided among tribal and ethnic lines.
Following independence, Dugan began consulting with Catholic Relief Services, the South Sudan Basketball Federation (SSBF) and the South Sudan Demobilization and Demilitarization and Reintegration Commission (SSDDRC) on how to best execute the event. On the ground there has been an incredible collaboration between the community, church and government partners to turn the Playing for Peace Championships into a powerful and symbolic event in South Sudan.
It has been an exciting and hectic week for Dugan; he has had an emerging world experience in sports marketing that has proved to be invaluable.
"Pulling this event together with the local community has been pure inspiration. People here in South Sudan have so much hope in the future of their new nation, but along with that, there is an absolute incredible atmosphere of excitement surrounding the future of basketball in this country," said Dugan. "It has been a crazy week of non-stop event planning, meetings and interviews. I've been flying around the streets of Juba on the back of a motorcycle from government offices, to the South Sudan TV station, to the radio station to the print shop to meet with NGOs to basketball practice."
There is no wonder Playing for Peace is getting so much attention right now (the championship game will be broadcast on South Sudan TV.) It brings together the two things that people in South Sudan love to talk about right now, peace and basketball.
"The grassroots effort of basketball players, the church, government officials and the media has been incredible," said Dugan. "This event is going to be a perfect example of the way sports can be used as a form of social and human development in the emerging world."
A few brief notes on Dugan's visit to East Africa:
- Sports and peace building: Dugan has been working with SSDDRC to work on a sports program to aid in the reintegration of former SPLA Child Soldiers. Sports are an incredible emotional release and outlet for these children. Dugan has been working with SSDDRC staff to share the fundamentals of the successful "Take 10" program that is run through the Robinson Center as well as the Play Like A Champion educational program run out the Institute for Educational Initiatives. The biggest problem for the SSDDRC is former child combatants with idle time on their hands, when these kids have nothing to do they tend to find trouble or try to rejoin the army. The SSDDRC would love to see these kids spending their free time on the soccer pitch or the basketball courts.
- Commitment to women's sports: Upon achieving independence, the first new initiative of the SSBF was to formalize a women's basketball program. Dugan has been joining with SSBF officials to run the first ever girls' basketball clinics in South Sudan and the Playing for Peace basketball championship will feature a women's basketball exhibition game.
- Working with the global church: While South Sudan is the world's newest nation, the Catholic University of South Sudan is the world's newest university. Dugan will be speaking at the mass of the Holy Spirit to kick start the new school year at the CUOSS. He is also working with Brother Jorge Fayad to organize the first ever sports day at the university. The Catholic University of South Sudan Sports Day will run parallel to the Playing for Peace Championships and create a sports festival atmosphere in Juba this Saturday.
- African History in Uganda: Prior to travelling to South Sudan, Dugan spent two weeks in Uganda were his Fields of Growth organization orchestrated the first ever lacrosse national championships on African soil. In an event that was featured on national radio, in the newspapers and on East African TV, the Kampala Panthers of the Uganda Lacrosse Union took home the victory in the first annual King's Cup.
- Much has already been done, but the main event took place August 27 at the Juba 1 Basketball Court. The Playing for Peace Championships will take the spirit of last December's event at Notre Dame to the front lines of Juba, South Sudan. There was a six-team tournament and championship, youth basketball clinic, women's exhibition game, slam dunk contest, three-point contest, traditional dancers, DJ and a message of peace and unity through sports.
If Samardzija's track record of performances after major firings is any indicator, the Cubs might be ready for a breakout season from a pitcher that walked away from a football career when the Cubs offered him a guaranteed five-year, ten million dollar contract.
More from Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com:
Jeff Samardzija thought back to the fallout at Notre Dame after Charlie Weis replaced Tyrone Willingham. Now someone else will be deciding on those club options for 2012 and 2013, and judging whether he might be built for the rotation.
"We're all playing for a tryout right now," Samardzija said. "We don't know who the new GM is going to be. We don't know what's going to happen next year. But we're all playing for whoever the new guy's going to be.
"We want to play hard and we want to play every game like it's the most important game of the season from here on out. Because I'm sure whoever it is - whoever's getting close to be (the guy) - is watching right now and really keeping a close eye on this team."
After only two full seasons in the minors, Samardzija made his first appearance in the big leagues in 2008 as a 23-year old, and after spending time between the farm and the show the past few years, he's spent all of 2011 in the majors, putting together a good season out of the bullpen.
Still, Irish fans can't help but wonder what might have been if Samardzija chose football after an All-American career that saw the Shark score an incredible 27 touchdowns in his final two seasons after Charlie Weis took over for Tyrone Willingham.
Looking back at the 2006 draft class, Santonio Holmes was the first wide receiver taken, going 25th to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Interestingly enough, the next receiver taken was by Charlie Weis' old team, when the New England Patriots took Florida wide receiver Chad Jackson in the second round. (He's yet to score a professional touchdown.) Other first day picks (at least, back before they messed up the draft) were Sinorice Moss from Miami, Greg Jennings from Western Michigan, and Travis Wilson out of Oklahoma, Derek Hagan out of Arizona State, Brandon Williams from Wisconsin, Maurice Stovall out of Notre Dame and Willie Reid from Florida State.
It's tough to know when Samardzija would've gone without seeing what he'd have run in the forty, but looking at the production from this group, only Holmes and Jennings have truly distinguished themselves in the NFL, and you've got to think that Shark's hands and the way he could go up and get a ball would have him making a pretty good living on Sundays as well.
... then you must be cheering for the wrong team.
Football: Golson could help |
Irish are special to USF's Holtz |
Minor leagues? |
Why Irish won't be a fit for Big 12 | Focused on task at hand | Underestimating Crist
What's hot | Promoting aerial lift safety | One crazy prediction | Finally!
Strong to start season | Strengths and weaknesses | Huge predictions | What's the big deal?
Of mice and mammoths | Holtz wary of Kelly | Cuban's proposal | Walk to remember
Spond finding his footing | Shembo stays true | ESPN GameDay coming to Ann Arbor
Men's Soccer: The dreaded 0-0
Women's Soccer: Tar Heels beat Notre Dame | Duke upsets Notre Dame
According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Notre Dame has produced the most NFL players all-time with 503. Only one other school (Southern California, 438) has more than 400. Meanwhile, Miami is tied for 10th with 272 players reaching the highest level.
In 2010, Notre Dame was tied for 15th with 24 players in the NFL.
Here is a look at the schools that have sent the most players to the NFL (all-time) ...
Huffington Post - When Lindsay Brown, a junior at the University of Notre Dame, decided to host a bake sale in her dorm last year to fundraise for girls' education at the Kopila Valley Children's School, she had no idea that she was launching a movement. But her success, raising $900 with her soccer teammates to sponsor three girls in Nepal, did just that. Bake sale fundraisers are nothing new, of course ... until you throw some food coloring into the mix.
Lindsay's change-the-world cupcakes are tie-dyed, which we found at She's the First makes them utterly irresistible. She's the First is a non-profit that partners with the most underserved but impactful schools in the developing world and empowers American youth to creatively fundraise for girls' sponsorships. We focus on girls because of the 130 million youth who are out of school around the globe, 70 percent of them are girls. The girls we sponsor are typically the first in their families to graduate primary or secondary school.
When Lindsay shared her cupcake story and photos on our blog, other students started asking for the recipe... before long, these cupcakes were popping up everywhere, even in YouTube videos.
She's the First now declares November 1-8, 2011 a Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off, raising a call to action for 200+ high schools and colleges to host their own tie-dye bake sales to sponsor girls' education with us. You can see the bake sale sign-ups start to sprinkle our Google Map at shesthefirst.org/cupcakes.
The story of the first tie-dye cupcake fundraiser for She's the First isn't over yet -- it gets even sweeter. This summer, Lindsay received a grant from Notre Dame to travel to Nepal, to meet the students she had sponsored with cupcakes. She also wanted to create an all-girls soccer team that would be "an extension of the classroom," as she says, and teach them leadership, self-confidence, and assertiveness. I'm so proud of her project, because at She's the First, when we choose sponsorship programs to partner with, we look for those that have extracurricular activities such as sports. The mentorship inherent in athletics or the arts is one of the most effective ways to prevent a girl from falling into the traps of pregnancy or early marriage, which would get in the way of her graduation.
Lindsay documented her trip on Tumblr, and although it's hard to beat her final post -- announcing that the girls won their first soccer game 5-0! -- my favorite post was hands-down about the birthdays of Nisha and Sunju.
Little did we know, but Lindsay had packed baking supplies along with her soccer balls, and she taught the Kopila Valley kids how to make the very same tie-dye cupcakes that sponsored their education. For them, it satisfied more than their sweet tooth. She blogged: "our two friends who are pilots for the world food programme are pretty much the only people in surkhet with a working oven so we drove over to their house to bake the cupcakes. it was a really big deal for the girls, they've only been in a car a few times(i even had to show them how to open the door) and when i asked if they had ever used an oven before they said they've only seen one in a movie!"
Lindsay Brown, the Kopila Valley children and the 24-year-old founder of their home and school, Maggie Doyne, have the kind of intertwined story that I feel like I would see in a movie, too. But these real-life stories are actually all around us -- and She's the First pulls them together in one place. You can become the next chapter.
"Like" her video to help her earn a spot at the Google Zeitgeist Americas 2011, where she'll take a series of master classes and meet some of the world's most powerful players and greatest minds. Because when a girl starts changing the world with cupcakes when she's 20, you have no idea what's next.
Encourage the young women in your life to sign up to host a tie-dye cupcake bake sale at their school, too: shesthefirst.org/cupcakes. I know there are many more Lindsay Brown's out there, and each one of them also has a girl -- or three! -- on the other side of the world whom she can impact.
Let's show the world what a cupcake is really made of.
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A limited number of tickets for Notre Dame's home football game versus South Florida on Sept. 3 at Notre Dame Stadium will go on sale to the public at 8:30 a.m. (ET) on Monday (Aug. 29) through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office.
The sale is a result of South Florida returning a portion of its ticket allotment and a small quantity of tickets remaining from the annual Notre Dame student sale. Tickets are contiguous; limits and availability are to be determined.
In addition, very limited quantities of tickets remain on sale for the 2011 Irish home games against Navy (Oct. 29) and Boston College (Nov. 19).
Tickets are $70 each for South Florida and Navy and $80 each for Boston College. Purchases can be made at the Notre Dame Ticket Office located at the Purcell Pavilion, by calling 574.631.7356 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or by visiting und.com/tickets. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Service charges will apply.
Also, be the first to know about football ticket releases and other special offers and deals. Follow @NDtix on Twitter and get the latest updates directly from the Notre Dame Ticket Office.
Beginning with Notre Dame's first game of the season against South Florida on Sept. 3, all Notre Dame Football home games will be broadcast throughout Europe exclusively on Eurosport 2. In addition, Eurosport has the exclusive TV rights in the 15 countries where Eurosport Asia Pacific is distributed.
Eurosport's continued cooperation with NBC Sports enables viewers to enjoy premium sports events across Europe. Eurosport and NBC Sports have a longstanding partnership initiated by agreements with Apparent Gravity Media in 2006.
8.24.11 - Hello again America! I arrived back in South Bend last night around midnight after another long round of travel. I'm quickly getting reacquainted with the English language so I can refrain from writing this in Chinese and confusing all of my monolingual readers like I had planned. Hopefully that also means my quality of writing will be higher, which would be good timing for me with classes already starting back up at Notre Dame.
My trip to Shenzhen was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and all of my teammates on Team USA. Unfortunately, the basketball part didn't turn out as well as we would have liked, as we ended up coming in fifth place in the tournament. We lost our quarterfinals game against Lithuania before winning our last two consolation games against Romania and Germany. Nothing seemed to go right for us in the game we lost, and my foul trouble certainly didn't help the cause. Fortunately, that game was followed by solid performances both personally and collectively in the two days after that. Overall, we ended up 7-1, which actually turned out to be the best record in the tournament.
Personally, getting a chance to play for great coaches and with great teammates was something that will help me out immensely in my last year at Notre Dame. I was able to work on my game with and against some of the top players in college around the world, and picked up helpful tools in the process. Once I get over this jet lag, I'll be ready to go - I'm already anxious for the season to get here.
I won't soon forget the unique features of China that I will never witness in the United States. Even though I think Americans are generally a friendly bunch, I don't think we'll ever be able to match the reception that we received in Shenzhen. By the end of the trip I had even received a letter to my room from a fan in the city that had paid extra to get it shipped into the athlete village area. It was on military love note stationary with a blushing military cartoon character on the front with "LOVE" cut into the side of the card. Unfortunately for me it was from someone named Tobey. It's amazing that even with five million women in the city the odds weren't on my side. However, Tobey did show me how to write my name in Chinese, which might take years of practice for me to actually memorize.
I would be surprised if I have many more chances to make such a memorable trip in the future with any other team. I am extremely lucky to have been a part of such an amazing journey over the last month because of the fact that I can (sometimes) help my team make an inflated ball go through a metal rim. I really appreciate the opportunity given to me by USA Basketball, and the fact that everybody reading this followed me through the experience.
Can't wait to see all of your beautiful faces in the stands at our games this year! Go Irish!
8.17.11 - Yo! No, Yao! What's up Irish fans? Back at it with another report from the spot where I landed when I finished digging my hole in the middle of South Bend - Shenzhen, China.
A couple more good days here in the sweltering heat that Shenzhen experiences for the summer. We can't even walk 200 feet to the dining hall without breaking a sweat. That's one reason why I'm thankful we didn't have to go there tonight for dinner and made a trip to Pizza Hut instead.
Another is the high quality food that the Pizza Hut had to offer. Instead of a typical American take-out Pizza Hut, this was a somewhat classy sit-down restaurant with food that made us feel right at home. I downed an appetizer sampler, seven slices of pizza, an ice cream dessert and four strawberry smoothies (thanks USA Basketball, sorry T-Ro (our strength coach (aka the DFG).
My eating performance ranks right up there with our hot dog eating contest from earlier this summer.
NBC Sports Group will air a combined 28 college football games on NBC and VERSUS this season, featuring No. 16 Notre Dame and top-ranked teams from the Pac-12, Mountain West and Ivy League conferences. The increased coverage includes a new live studio show out of 30 Rock for all games on both NBC and VERSUS; the first home primetime Notre Dame game in more than 20 years on NBC; new on-air commentators, including College Football Hall of Famer Doug Flutie; a quadruple-header featuring several ranked teams on November 12; and a new one-hour college football show on VERSUS on Monday nights this fall.
Coverage begins on NBC when Notre Dame faces South Florida Sept. 3 at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
NBC will air seven Notre Dame games this season, including the first Fighting Irish home primetime game in 21 years when they host No. 25 USC on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
VERSUS, to be re-branded the NBC Sports Network on January 2, will bring the look and feel of NBC Sports production to all its college football coverage and will feature other notable games this season.
"Whether it's a Notre Dame, Mountain West, Pac-12 or Ivy League game and regardless of whether it airs on NBC or VERSUS, college football fans can expect coverage consistent with the NBC Sports brand," said Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and VERSUS.
NBC will once again team play-by-play commentator Tom Hammond with analyst Mike Mayock and sideline reporter Alex Flanagan. NBC's Dan Hicks will handle play-by-play for the first Notre Dame game of the season while Hammond is covering the World Track and Field Championships from Daegu, South Korea.
NBC Sports Group will air four games across all the college football properties it covers on Nov. 12. VERSUS will kick off the day with an Ivy League game featuring Penn at Harvard at noon (ET), immediately followed by a showdown between TCU at Boise State. NBC will then air Notre Dame as they host Maryland in primetime at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in an off-site home game from FedEx Field in Landover, Md. (the second primetime Notre Dame game of the season). VERSUS will end the quadruple-header with live coverage of a Pac-12 game at 10:30 p.m. (ET).
Monday nights will see VERSUS introduce a new one-hour show titled College Football Talk with a large portion of the show devoted to Notre Dame Football news.
For the second consecutive season, all of NBC's Notre Dame games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com. "Notre Dame Extra" will feature a simulcast of the broadcast feed in full HD quality plus one additional online-only bonus camera. The video player will include picture-in-picture capability and full DVR functionality, allowing the user to pause the live video and even review plays in "slo-mo."
New features for this season include live in-game tweets from sideline reporter Alex Flanagan and a live in-game chat from Inside the Irish blogger Keith Arnold. Additionally, fans can also watch live coverage of the Notre Dame and visiting teams' bands at halftime, in-game highlights, as well as a live, online-only postgame footage that will include head coach Brian Kelly's press conference.
iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users can get complete NBC Sports coverage of the Notre Dame 2011 college football season with the Notre Dame Central apps. Users can get free, live access to every NBC Sports broadcast of Notre Dame football games. Plus, the app includes live scores, news, video highlights and much more. The iPhone and iPad updates for the 2011 season will be available prior to the Sept. 3 season opener against South Florida.
- Powerful WLS-AM 890 in Chicago will continue as the radio home for the Notre Dame football and men's basketball games for the next three years ... the new agreement involves a collaboration between IMG College and Notre Dame Sports Properties - with IMG owning the Notre Dame football radio rights and NDSP running the Notre Dame men's basketball radio network ... IMG College has controlled Notre Dame's football radio rights since 2008 ... the agreement means WLS will carry all Notre Dame football games live, at least 25 Irish men's basketball games live plus any postseason contests, as well as the one-hour Jack Swarbrick Radio Show that airs Saturday mornings for 30 weeks from September to April ... the Notre Dame/WLS announcement is a continuation of a previous five-year relationship that has seen WLS carry Irish football and men's basketball contests in the Chicago market since 2006.
- Season and individual tickets are now on sale for the upcoming Notre Dame volleyball campaign, as the Fighting Irish will take the court at Purcell Pavilion for 13 regular-season home contests ... Notre Dame, Saint Mary's and Holy Cross students receive free admission with a valid student ID ... Notre Dame faculty, staff and their immediate family also receive free admission for regular season matches with a current Notre Dame ID ... call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at 574.631.7356 or visit und.com/tickets for more information.
- Fencer Courtney Hurley and her sister Kelley Hurley, a former fencer for the Irish, helped the United States women's epee team capture the silver medal at the World University Games ... the medal represents the second of the season in international competition for the Hurley's and the U.S. women's epee team ... the Hurley sisters also represented well in the individual epee draw, as each earned atop-16 finish ... three other Irish fencers also represented the United States at the Games, as Ariel DeSmet competed in men's foil, Hayley Reese competed in women's foil and Lian Osier took to the strip in women's sabre.
- Kelcy Tefft has been named assistant coach for the women's tennis team ... Tefft returns to the school where she played her collegiate tennis after serving as assistant coach for two years with Tulsa ... Tefft enjoyed one of the most accomplished careers during her playing days at Notre Dame ... she finished her career as a two-time All-America selection, two-time NCAA Singles Championship participant, two-time NCAA Doubles Championship participant, 2007 ITA National Indoor doubles champion, 2009 ITA National and Midwest Region Senior Player of the Year and 2009 BIG EAST Player of the Year ... a native of Enid, Okla., Tefft earned bachelor's degrees in sociology and computer applications from Notre Dame in 2009.
- The Brian Kelly Radio Show begins Sept. 1, and Notre Dame football fans can watch the show live on the Notre Dame campus or at und.com ... Kelly will appear at all 12 shows at Legends of Notre Dame on the campus, just south of Notre Dame Stadium ... the show will air from 7-8 p.m. (ET) ... audio outlets include WSBT 960 (South Bend), WXNT 1430 (Indianapolis), and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio ... hosted by Jack Nolan, the Brian Kelly Radio Show is a production of Notre Dame Sports Properties and Fighting Irish Digital Media.
MLSsoccer.com - When Bright Dike's Achilles tendon ruptured in a Portland Timbers preseason match against Ventura County in February, the MLS rookie forward entered uncharted territory.
There's only so much a player can do to prepare for such a devastating injury, but Dike - who scored his first MLS goal in last Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City - had spent relatively little time on the trainers' table during his career. The preseason that started with such promise turned into a long and arduous road back to full health.
"It's really tough," Dike said. "It's amazing how many things you have to work on. I wasn't able to walk. I had to learn to walk again. Learn to jump. Learn how to grasp the ground with my toes. Your whole leg, you have to retrain the movement."
In 2010, Dike was the second-leading scorer on the then-USSF Division 2 Timbers with 10 tallies, but the injury sustained against Ventura County denied him a chance at an easy transition to MLS. He had surgery three days after sustaining the injury, and has been working his way back ever since.
"It's a long process," said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Dike, who is built like a running back but starred on the pitch rather than the gridiron at Notre Dame, leading the Big East Conference in scoring as a junior and senior. "And it keeps going. Even now, it's like I'm doing a preseason during the season. I'm doing extra running, extra touches, so many extra things after practices to get back to where I was and I can be."
He made his Timbers debut in a July 7 friendly against Club America, a remarkably quick comeback from such an injury.
"I think he has the potential to play at this level, it's just a matter of getting him back to full fitness," Timbers head coach John Spencer said. "He's a big, big strong boy. I don't think I've seen anybody strike the ball as hard as he does in my whole time in the game. So we feel he definitely has a bright future here, no pun intended. It was a big injury for a player like him with such explosive movement."
The work paid off for Dike, albeit in a bad moment for the team, when he came on in the 66th minute against Sporting. In the 81st minute, Dike drove a shot past diving goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen after Rodney Wallace found him on a pass across the penalty box.
"It was great to get that first goal," Dike said. "I really only enjoyed it for five seconds, and then it was back to try to pull some goals back. You know, hopefully there's more to come. And hopefully I can score some that will actually be more enjoyable. It feels good to be getting more and more playing time and getting my legs back."
Dike is nowhere near full fitness but is a long way from the sobering moment when he questioned whether he'd ever play the game he loves again. He said soccer has been his life for so long that he can't imagine doing anything else.
"For me, I've never been injured for more than a couple weeks," he said. "So for me to be out for months ... that's something that I've never even imagined about myself. I'm just ready to play."
- Once the drama ended at noon today when Brian Kelly named Dayne Crist the starting Irish quarterback, Kelly took time to discuss several other items relative to his second Notre Dame season at the helm of the Irish squad: the Irish called off practice today, the first day of classes at the University ... tomorrow the squad begins its prep for South Florida ... the Irish finished off fall camp yesterday with an ice cream sundae bar after dinner ... "We have a starting quarterback, we have the health of our team and we have a great mindset." ... "Last year at this time I didn't really know Dayne. Some of those things take time. It's more about how he has matured in terms of understanding my expectations." ... Kelly held one-on-one meetings yesterday with the two quarterbacks to inform them of the decision ... "Tommy (Rees) will be prepared - he knows what he can do." ... DaVaris Daniels, Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson III are all expected to play special-team roles, and Troy Niklas also is pushing for playing time ... Chris Watt will start ahead of Andrew Nuss at left guard, and Dan Fox will start ahead of Carlo Calabrese at inside linebacker ... there's no differentiation between the #3 and #4 quarterbacks, Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson ... Kyle Brindza will handle kickoffs ... "You demand toughness and if you don't get it, the young man is going to know." ... "Cierre (Wood) is the featured guy (at running back), and Jonas (Gray) has a role - he'll give Cierre a blow. Jonas' role will be based on his production."
- The USA Men's World University Games Basketball Team wrapped up play at the World University Games in Shenzen, China, as the U.S. squad posted an 86-83 victory over Germany to finish in fifth place ... Tim Abromaitis finished with three points and four rebounds in the tournament's final outing ... in the eight games overall, Abromaitis averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds as the U.S. squad finished with the tournament's best record and a 7-1 mark.
- Three women's basketball players - Skylar Diggins, Natalie Novosel and Devereaux Peters - are among a group of 25 players who have been named to the 2011-12 preseason "Wade Watch" list for the State Farm Wade Trophy (given annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year), it was announced Tuesday by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
- Ninth-ranked Notre Dame played No. 6 Creighton to a 2-2 draw in exhibition men's soccer action on Monday night in front of 2,444 fans at Alumni Stadium ... the Irish staged two comebacks as Brendan King and Aaron Maund both netted equalizers ... Notre Dame scored on its only two shot-on-goal attempts of the evening.
- Aaron Maund and Dillon Powers have earned preseason All-America honors from Soccer America ... the duo is among 25 standouts that earned the recognition.
Outwardly, Huddle seems unfazed, emanating a quiet confidence she's honed since she became a professional distance runner in 2007, when she graduated from the Notre Dame as a nine-time All American. A year ago, she broke the American record in the 5,000 by running 14:44.76 at a race in Belgium. The time bested Shalane Flanagan's previous record by .04 seconds -- an impressive feat, considering Flanagan is the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters. In a single season, Huddle took an astounding 32 seconds off of her best time in the event.
Upon graduation, Huddle said she was "clueless" about the steps she'd have to take to become a professional runner. Had it not been for the guidance of her college coach, she imagines she would have taken her degree in biology and headed to medical school -- she even took the MCAT. Instead, Huddle connected with Ray Treacy, director of track and cross country operations at Providence College and coach of a handful of elite women runners, including Kim Smith, New Zealand's national record-holder in the marathon and half marathon. It wasn't long after Treacy and Huddle's initial meeting that Huddle was moving to Providence, despite the fact that her husband, Canadian middle-distance runner Kurt Benninger, trains in Bloomington with Team Indiana Elite.
In June, Molly Huddle won the 5,000 at the U.S. championships by more than four seconds.
Many memories await younger Holtz | One play away from center stage
QB announcement doesn't matter | Crist stands out in battle | Sort of a reunion
Holtz braces for emotional return | Holtz ready to return to Notre Dame
Former assistant coach dies | Holtz to face Notre Dame for first time
Holtz tries to mute emotions on return | Former Miami player, coach dies
Bolcar delights kids at 'Rudy' | Starting quarterback to be named | Rudolph impressive
Men's Basketball: Abro, Team USA close out tournament | U.S. men finish fifth
Baseball: Irish set to host alumni weekend
Men's Soccer: Irish tie Creighton | Soccer draws with Creighton
Bill Hanzlik and his wife Mary Beth had just returned from Hawaii when he made a phone call to the basketball folks in Seattle. It was July 1992 - long before the age of internet access, e-mail and smart phones - and Hanzlik wanted to see if there was any news while he was on vacation.
The secretary in the SuperSonics office told Hanzlik that the general manager needed to speak to him. A few moments later, he learned that he had been traded to Denver.
As someone who firmly believes that things happen for a reason, Hanzlik was thrilled with the news. The Nuggets played an exciting style under coach Doug Moe, and it would be a homecoming for his wife, who grew up in Denver.
"It was the perfect situation for me," Hanzlik said.
In partnership with Notre Dame, Centerplate has made a number of physical upgrades to the stadium to enhance its offerings and increase convenience. In addition to aesthetic improvements to service areas, including new menu boards and signage, the company increased the stadium's cooking capacity with the addition of new grill stands, carving stations and chef-attended action carts on the concourse.
Presented by Notre Dame Athletics, the day started off with remarks from event organizers and a singing of the Rwandan National Anthem--then the games began. Even as storm clouds threatened, attendees played on, facing off in basketball, volleyball and soccer in what one event organizer believes to be the first time two Rwandan teams have faced off at any sport on American soil.
The event served as an opportunity for Rwandans born in the United States to connect with other Rwandans.
"Today is a day of Rwanda. When you live in a foreign country, it's not every day that we get to get together," said event organizer Alice Cyusa. "Playing soccer and basketball together, we are united."
Preparations are already underway to plan next year's Rwanda Youth Day.
"Sports can be a powerful way to nurture and develop young people while bringing people of all ages together to build community, " said Kevin Dugan, manager of Youth and Community Programs for Notre Dame Athletics. "That is the goal of our Rwandan Youth Day. It's a great opportunity to use the transformative power of sport to build community while also promoting unity among the Rwandan Diaspora here in the Midwest."
The event is part of a new initiative, Irish Experience Programs, begun by Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick. The program aims to use Notre Dame Athletics' key pillars to have a positive influence on young people and to impact the surrounding community.
This fall, Athletics plans to start a free flag football league called the Irish Experience League, which will be held at the Martin Luther King Center on South Bend's wes tside in conjunction with St. Augustine Parish and the Robinson Community Learning Center.
For more information about these programs, contact Kevin Dugan at email@example.com.
- As the preseason football rankings continue to roll out, Notre Dame
was recently ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll released Saturday morning ... it marked the highest preseason
ranking for the Irish in the AP poll since 2006 when they opened No. 2 ... in fact, Notre Dame has not been ranked higher in an AP poll since Dec.
9, 2006, when it was No. 11 .. just over two weeks ago, Notre Dame was
ranked No. 18 in the 2011 USA Today preseason coaches' poll .. it marked
the 18th time in the last 25 seasons that the Irish have been ranked in
the AP preseason balloting, with all but two of those appearances coming
in the top 20 ... Notre Dame has appeared in 50 of the possible 62 AP
preseason polls dating back to 1950 (the advent of the preseason AP
poll), which ranks fourth best all-time ... Ohio State (58), Oklahoma (53)
and USC (51) are the only schools with more preseason appearances ... in
all, the Irish have appeared in 713 of the possible 1,022 AP polls
dating back to the inaugural poll in 1936 ... only the Buckeyes (786) and
Michigan (761) have more appearances.
- Where do a few former Irish football players rank on the Sports Illustrated Fantasy Football 2011 (postlockout edition) draft board? For starters, RB Ryan Grant is 69th and is TE Anthony Fasano 181st ... by position, Jimmy Clausen is 48th among QBs, Grant 28th among RBs, and Fasano 23rd and Kyle Rudolph 36th among TEs ... Rudolph led the Vikings in receiving with three catches for 22 yards in Minnesota's 20-7 preseason win over Seattle over the weekend.
- Former Irish assistant football coach Paul Shoults died last night in suburban South Bend ... he was the Notre Dame secondary coach for 13 seasons from 1964-76, working under Ara Parseghian for 11 years and under Dan Devine for two ... he was 85 when he died.
- With play-by-play veteran Tom Hammond and producer Rob Hyland working the World Track and Field Championship in Korea, their slots for the Sept. 3 Notre Dame vs. South Florida football opener on NBC Sports will be filled, respectively, by Dan Hicks and Tommy Roy.
- Notre Dame athletics youth programming director Kevin Dugan and his Fields of Growth lacrosse program recently were featured in an article in Uganda's Daily Monitor.
- Former Irish football player Marvin Russell has authored and self-published a new book titled "Linebacker in the Boardroom." Look for an excerpt in a Notre Dame football game program this fall.
- A story Saturday in the St. Petersburg Times about South Florida football coach Skip Holtz says his father Lou was offered the day off by ESPN to attend the Sept. 3 game at Notre Dame Stadium - but Lou declined "citing the helplessness he feels watching his son's games."
- The men's soccer team will hold its annual match to benefit Grassroot Soccer today when the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish take to the Alumni Stadium pitch against No. 6 Creighton ... the exhibition showdown is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET) ... admission to the game is $1 and further donations are welcome ... Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is an international non-governmental organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities against the spread of HIV ... GRS has a special connection to Notre Dame soccer as Dr. Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Irish head coach Bobby Clark, founded the organization ... this marks the eighth season that the Fighting Irish have held a match to benefit GRS.
- The Irish baseball team will host its annual Alumni Weekend from Sept. 2-3 at Frank Eck Stadium ... the two-day event is highlighted by Saturday's Alumni game.
- Seen taking swings in the Notre Dame baseball batting cages over the weekend: future MLB Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (his son, Conor, is an Irish freshman).
- Sarah Dalton has been named an assistant coach for the women's lacrosse program ... Dalton spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for William & Mary under the direction of current Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny ... over her two-year stint at William & Mary, Dalton helped guide the Tribe to two of the most productive seasons offensively in the program's history, as the team's points and goal totals ranked among the school's single-season top-10 lists in each of the two campaigns under her watch.
Forbes - Despite recent claims that college football players are "oppressed" and "undervalued" relative to the revenues they generate for their universities, I argue using "cost of attendance" and "projected earnings" data that the average "value" of a college football scholarship is in excess of $2 million for student-athletes who (1) play for one of the pre-season Top 25 schools and (2) would not have pursued a college degree if it weren't for their scholarship ...
To read more of Patrick Rishe's article, click here.
Football: Myth vs. reality | Has discipline been balanced? | Spond finding his footing
Daniels brings depth | Talent, attitude converging at right time | Rees relishes QB debate
New linemen run through first practice | An Irish Aaron | Bruton to hospital with head injury
Koyack has Tight End U. look | Kelly addresses Miami scandal | Ex-Saint pushes for time
Performance big recruiting factor | Fearsome freshmen | Irish 16th in AP preseason poll
Still no answer at QB | Koyack 'Emerging' | McDaniel sees bigger picture
Golson welcomes slow pace | Calabrese takes criticism to heart
Special memories for Skip and Lou | Hinton lets players coach | Toma still not satisfied
Answering camp's questions | Perkins shines in season debut
Where Riddick goes, thrills follow | #7 more than lucky for Tuitt | Golson starts at full speed
Who has the edge at QB? | Frosh QB feeling comfortable | Golson turning heads
First ranking since 2009 | Defense builds swagger | QB decision coming Tuesday
Frosh ready to contribute | Starting QB announced Tuesday | Fleming hungry
Men's Basketball: Abro helps U.S. to win | Abromaitis has strong game for U.S.
Balanced effort sparks Team USA over Romania | U.S. falls to Lithuania in quarters
Women's Basketball: Irish trio leads US to win | Golden girls | Irish trio brings back gold
Diggins leads U.S. past Australia | Diggins seeks another Final Four | Trio leads USA rout
Hockey: Seniors want Frozen Four return
Men's Lacrosse: Milone added to staff
Women's Lacrosse: Dalton named assistant | Halfpenny settles in
Baseball: Pirates sign Aaron Heilman
Men's Soccer: Give to Grassroot Soccer | High expectations
Women's Soccer: Irish shutout Wisconsin | Trio pushes for repeat
Here are the links to the two articles:
Admissions | Student Conduct
Like all of Notre Dame's swimmers and divers, Mason Weber put in his fair share of workouts over the summer. However, a bit of his cardio came in the form of a stair climber known as Mount Kilimanjaro. Weber scaled the beast - a mere 19,341 feet above sea level - before heading back to South Bend for the start of classes on Tuesday.
Former Irish swimmer Steele Whowell ('99) is the founder and organizer of Swim 4 Freedom.
For more information on the event, please visit swim4freedom.org.
Alabama, the No. 2 team in the Rivals.com preseason rankings, leads the way on our All-America team with six selections. No other school has more than four preseason All-Americans.
Boise State, Notre Dame and Stanford have four selections each. Stanford and Alabama are the only schools with two first-team and two second-team picks.
If Notre Dame will enjoy a return to the top of the football world, the Irish may be able to thank its core of three players listed on our second team.
Manti Te'o and Harrison Smith anchor an Irish defense that allowed 39 points in the final four games. Michael Floyd gives the Irish a Biletnikoff frontrunner and one of the nation's elite offensive talents.
First Team - Offense
QB Andrew Luck, Stanford (6-4/235, Jr.)
RB LaMichael James, Oregon (5-9/185, Jr.)
RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina (6-0/231, So.)
WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (6-1/211, Jr.)
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma (5-11/187, Sr.)
WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (6-4/229, Jr.)
T Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State (6-6/322, Sr.)
G David DeCastro, Stanford (6-5/307, Jr.)
C Peter Konz, Wisconsin (6-5/313, Jr.)
G Ryan Miller, Colorado (6-8/310, Sr.)
T Nate Potter, Boise State (6-6/300, Sr.)
First Team - Defense
E Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (6-3/265, Jr.)
T Jared Crick, Nebraska (6-6/285, Sr.)
E Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh (6-2/250, Sr.)
LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State (6-3/252, Jr.)
LB Lavonte David, Nebraska (6-1/220, Sr.)
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College (6-3/237, Jr.)
LB Kenny Tate, Maryland (6-4/220, Sr.)
CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (5-10/170, Jr.)
CB Chase Minnifield, Virginia (6-0/185, Sr.)
FS Robert Lester, Alabama (6-2/210, Jr.)
SS Mark Barron, Alabama (6-2/218, Sr.)
First Team - Special Teams
K Blair Walsh, Georgia (5-10/192, Sr.)
P Jeff Locke, UCLA (6-1/210, Jr.)
KR Eric Page, Toledo (5-10/180, Jr.)
PR Cliff Harris, Oregon (5-11/165, Jr.)
Second Team - Offense
QB Kellen Moore, Boise State (6-0/191, Sr.)
RB Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M (5-10/198, Sr.)
RB Trent Richardson, Alabama (5-11/224, Jr.)
WR Juron Criner, Arizona (6-4/210, Sr.)
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (6-3/224, Sr.)
TE Michael Egnew, Missouri (6-6/240, Sr.)
T Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State (6-6/354, Sr.)
G Barrett Jones, Alabama (6-5/311, Jr.)
C Michael Brewster, Ohio State (6-5/293, Sr.)
G Joel Foreman, Michigan State (6-4/310, Sr.)
T Matt Reynolds, BYU (6-6/305, Sr.)
Second Team - Defense
E Vince Browne, Northwestern (6-5/265, Sr.)
T Billy Winn, Boise State (6-4/295, Sr.)
E Quinton Coples, North Carolina (6-6/285, Sr.)
LB Jerry Franklin, Arkansas (6-1/245, Sr.)
LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama (6-4/260, Jr.)
LB Shayne Skov, Stanford (6-3/244, Jr.)
LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (6-2/255, Jr.)
CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska (5-10/205, Sr.)
CB Keith Tandy, West Virginia (5-10/199, Sr.)
FS Harrison Smith, Notre Dame (6-2/214, Sr.)
SS Delano Howell, Stanford (5-11/189, Sr.)
Second Team - Special Teams
K Grant Ressel, Missouri (6-2/190, Sr.)
P Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State (6-1/189, Jr.)
KR Quincy McDuffie, UCF (5-10/175, Jr.)
PR Damaris Johnson, Tulsa (5-8/170, Sr.)
Third Team - Offense
QB Case Keenum, Houston (6-2/210, Sr.)
RB Montel Harris, Boston College (5-10/207, Sr.)
RB Doug Martin, Boise State (5-9/215, Sr.)
WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M (6-4/215, Sr.)
WR Robert Woods, USC (6-1/185, So.)
TE George Bryan, N.C. State (6-5/265, Sr.)
T Mike Adams, Ohio State (6-8/308, Sr.)
G Larry Warford, Kentucky (6-3/340, Jr.)
C David Molk, Michigan (6-2/288, Sr.)
G Brandon Washington, Miami (6-4/320, Jr.)
T Riley Reiff, Iowa (6-6/300, Jr.)
Third Team - Defense
E Bruce Irvin, West Virginia (6-3/245, Sr.)
T Mike Martin, Michigan (6-2/299, Jr.)
E Devin Taylor, South Carolina (6-7/248, Jr.)
LB Tank Carder, TCU (6-3/237, Sr.)
LB Travis Lewis, Oklahoma (6-2/233, Sr.)
LB Sean Spence, Miami (6-0/224, Sr.)
LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama (6-2/265, Sr.)
CB Cliff Harris, Oregon (5-11/165, Jr.)
CB Coryell Judie, Texas A&M (5-11/188, Sr.)
FS T.J. McDonald, USC (6-3/205, Jr.)
SS Tony Dye, UCLA (5-11/205, Sr.)
Third Team - Special Teams
K David Ruffer, Notre Dame (6-1/193, Sr.)
P Drew Butler, Georgia (6-2/214, Sr.)
KR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International (5-10/183, Sr.)
PR Greg Reid, Florida State (5-8/186, Jr.)
Aided by a combined 32 points from three Notre Dame players, including 19 points from Skylar Diggins, the United States easily claimed the gold medal at the World University Games with a 101-66 win over Taiwan in the tournament final on Sunday night at the Universiade Main Gym in Shenzhen, China.
Diggins connected on 6-of-9 shots (including 3-of-4 from three-point range) and added six assists for the United States (6-0). Devereaux Peters registered eight points and six rebounds, while Natalie Novosel chipped in five points while starting alongside Diggins for the sixth consecutive game.
Sunday's win marks the first time three Notre Dame women's basketball players have won gold medals for the same USA Basketball Team in the same tournament. It also gives the Fighting Irish 10 international gold medalists in the program's 35-year history, with Diggins collecting her third gold in four years (also the 2008 FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship and 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship), and Novosel and Peters picking up their first gold medals in international competition.
What's more, this is the sixth consecutive time that a Notre Dame women's basketball player (either an alum, current player or incoming freshman) has suited up for a USA Basketball team at an international tournament and come home with the gold medal, a remarkable run of excellence that dates back to 2004 when Ruth Riley ('01) struck gold with the U.S. Olympic Team at the Athens Games.
Individually, Diggins averaged 12.3 ppg. at this year's World University Games, while also leading all tournament players (regardless of country) in assists (4.8 apg.) and ranking among the top 10 at the event in steals (third with team-high 3.3 spg.) and field goal percentage (10th at .475).
Peters also had an impressive showing at the World University Games as the leading American scorer off the bench (and fourth overall) with 10.0 points per game. She also was fourth on the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg.), and ranked among the top 10 in the entire tournament in field goal percentage (fifth at .560, second-best on team) and blocked shots (ninth with team-high 1.0 bpg.).
Novosel was one of the "glue" players for the United States, starting all six games in her international debut and doing a bit of everything, winding up with 4.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, the latter total ranking fourth on the team.
"It's an amazing feeling, and this is the first time I got emotional up there (on the medal stand), with my teammates being up there and just the fact that these games were such a big deal to this team," Diggins said. "I mean, (it's a big deal) every time, but the fact that I haven't done it in a while and that I'm back here, it's a blessing and the biggest honor. To be up there with my (Notre Dame) teammates, with somebody that I'm familiar with, being a bridesmaid in the NCAA Championship, it's good to be the bride in this game. So, I'm glad that we were able to share that moment together."
"It was just pure giddiness for me (to receive the gold medal)," Novosel added. "It was surreal. As soon as they (put the gold medal around my neck), I was just utterly grateful. I can't imagine what it would have been like without (my two Notre Dame teammates) and to be able to share it with them was a moment I'll never forget."
"This is just one of those things that you can't explain, you have to experience it to understand," Peters said. "I'm really excited and happy I could do it with my (Notre Dame) teammates. It's a crazy feeling to be able to experience that gold medal being put over your head. It's that much more special because all these knee problems (I've had) have been ridiculous, and to be able to come over here and not only play, but win, it's like going from the lowest low to the highest high."
Starting off on the right foot is a good thing in sports. Ending on the right foot is great. Doing both is even better.
Notre Dame began its 2011 NCAA title run on the same foot which earned it the hardware in 2010 - more specifically, the hoof of Adriana Leon - to win its 12th straight season opener Friday at Alumni Stadium. Leon, who cashed in the only goal of a 1-0 Women's College Cup win over Stanford last December to help the Irish claim their third national crown, replicated the action when she scored the first goal of the 2011 campaign.
Leon didn't draw too much attention in the early stages of the game as the Wisconsin defense exerted much of its effort keeping Melissa Henderson at bay. Henderson, who found nearly every inch around - and even on - the goal in the first half, at times drew one, two and three Wisconsin defenders on each touch.
The Hermann Trophy candidate managed to find Leon for the opening tally which brought an impressive opening-day crowd of 1,713 to its feet late in the first half. After the game head coach Randy Waldrum, who had his doubts as to whether or not a recovering Leon would play tonight due to an injury, recalled jokingly teasing with the sophomore prior to the 2010 title game that she would score the game-winning goal.
His decision to play her against the Badgers paid off, but his indecision to remind her that she would score the winning goal against once again haunted him.
"I wish I had done the same before this game and be 2-for-2 in that department," Waldrum said. "It was great to be able to have her out there, and she's going to be one of the players we'll rely on when teams are keying in on Melissa."
Henderson missed on her first handful of pegs, so she resorted to the dome to score in the 61st minute off a dish from Molly Campbell to give the Irish a 2-0 cushion to put the game in cruise control until the final horn.
Henderson's importance to this Irish squad is apparent on the field and the stat sheet. In fact, Henderson may boast one of the nation's most impressive stats: Notre Dame is 45-0-2 when Henderson scores a point and 36-0-2 when she connects for a goal.
Those efforts helped Notre Dame bump to 328-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead. The Irish are also unbeaten in their past 305 contest when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991).
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Former Irish pitcher Brian Dupra is familiar with having his number dialed in the Major League Baseball draft, but twice, he was not quite ready to take the leap into professional baseball.
In 2007, the Texas Rangers selected him in the 36th round out of Greece Athena High School (N.Y.). However, the 6-foot-3 righty was eager for the college experience and elected to attend Notre Dame.
Three years later, the Detroit Tigers selected Dupra in the 11th round. Again, Dupra declined the invitation, deciding that the college experience was his cup of tea. He wanted the degree to go with it.
This past May, he graduated from the College of Arts & Letters with degrees in both sociology and computer applications. A few weeks later, Dupra was selected for a third time, as the Washington Nationals snatched him with the 217th overall pick.
Dupra has been spending the summer pitching for the Auburn Doubledays, a team in the Short-Season Class A New York-Penn League, located less than 70 miles from his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. He is currently 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA and 31 strikeouts.
Ryan Miller of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle recently caught up with Dupra to speak with him about his early experiences in the minor leagues.
- Josh Flynt
Hinkes first began pole vaulting back in high school. Now, just two weeks shy of his 82nd birthday, he has no plans of retiring.
And Hinkes, who lives in the town of Argyle, is among the best in his age group: He cleared 7 feet, 2 1/2 inches to win the World Masters Athletics Championships pole vault title in the 80- to 84-year-old division in Sacramento, Calif., on July 15.
He practices pole vaulting at several area high schools, including Monroe. He practices with other pole vaulters at the University of Wisconsin and when he travels to Arizona, he packs his pole and practices at a nearby junior college.
"They always ask me, 'When are you going to retire?'" he said. "I will rest for a couple of months and then come November or December, I will decide whether I should go back and try it again. I will do it as long as I'm not jeopardizing my health."
The world record for pole vaulters ages 80 to 84 is 9-0 1/4. Hinkes has cleared 8-0.
"I would like to think if I stay healthy, I could add 6 more inches to my height," he said. "That would be a big accomplishment."
He first started pole vaulting with a neighbor in high school at Milwaukee Marquette.
"I kind of backed into it," Hinkes said.
He had aspirations of running the 880 meters, but when he wasn't selected, his coach asked him to pole vault. The pole vault helped Hinkes soar to a track career at Notre Dame.
After a 25-year hiatus from pole vaulting, Hinkes started again as a member of the Masters USA track and field program. Even during his 25 years working at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, he always looked at the pole vault as a way to relax.
"It was a wonderful break from the stress and strain from working," Hinkes said.
He has seen pole vaulting undergo a metamorphosis since he started. Hinkes said the poles used to be stiff and recalls vaulting with bamboo and aluminum poles in high school and college. Today, Hinkes said, the fiberglass and carbon fiber poles have made a difference. He credits better running surfaces and bigger pits for making pole vaulting much safer.
"Today, with the way they build lighter poles and fit them for your height and weight, the speed an athlete can generate allows them to get more bend on their pole," Hinkes said.
Hinkes said he enjoys the camaraderie of pole vaulting. He also enjoys the rivalry he has established with Jerry Donnelly of Colorado Springs; Donnelly finished second at the world championships in California to Hinkes.
"Beating him in a World Games was very satisfying," Hinkes said.
Hinkes is looking forward to vaulting again even after he turns 82.
"If I wasn't in good shape I wouldn't do it," he said. "I have been fortunate. I haven't had any setbacks."
The August/September 2011 issue features a photo of Dayne Crist and former Irish running back Armando Allen from last season's opener against Purdue at Notre Dame Stadium.
The cover story focuses on new ideas for improving athletic performance, and by the looks of it, the Irish are sure to be among the programs discussed in the article. The issue will be available for online viewing on August 22nd at AthleticManagement.com.
- Josh Flynt
"Ridiculous ... as in 'ridiculously nice' ..." - Jack Nolan
We willl see because last year, Tim Abromaitis was Robin to BIG EAST Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough's Batman.
Abromaitis was the Fighting Irish's No. 2 offensive weapon during last year's 27-7 season.
He averaged 15.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game (second on the team) and shot 42.9 percent from three-point range.
Tim Abromaitis was featured among a list of the BIG EAST's top five seniors returning for their last hurrahs. Joining him on the list was, ironically, his Team USA roommate Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh). Which should make this season's Notre Dame / Pittsburgh showdown that much more interesting.
- Josh Flynt
A model for BYU independence | Wood gets security | QB picture becoming more focused
Watching changes carefully | Showing focus for special season | Defense ready for basics
QB battle still too close to call | Floyd's second chance a 'blessing'
Kelly has confidence | QB derby too close to call | It's up to Fleming
Irish counting on 'the Force' | Crist, Rees give Notre Dame a win-win choice
Floyd embraces a return to normalcy | QB battle fierce, but rivals friendly
Irish defense ready to build on 2010 | One thing certain, Irish have desire
Choosing the triggerman | Kelly excited about Notre Dame | Floyd moving forward
The Leap? | Motta, Slaughter will share duties | Brown's reaction to being in the mix
Stewart adjusting to life in NFL | Notre Dame ranked 22nd by Sporting News
Seventh-highest priced ticket of the college | Kickoff set for Pittsburgh game
Chatter will be motivation | Wood on a mission | Hardy lost for season
Freshman playing time | Areas that demand upgrade | Rookie backs battle for spot
Ride wasn't part of Ruffer's plans | Three-man rotation at safety
Very deep at the defensive end position | Versatility a plus for Nuss | Ruffer a seasoned vet
Basketball: U.S. handles Hungary
Women's Basketball: Diggins leads U.S. in rout of England | Irish lead in two big wins
Hockey: Conference move may come soon | No affiliation announcement
Men's Soccer: Irish tie in exhibition
Women's Soccer: Trio nabs preseason national honors
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Ridderwall is a four-year product of Notre Dame. As an alternate captain in 2010-11, Ridderwall recorded 16 goals and nine assists for 25 points. The 6-0, 193-pound forward led the Fighting Irish in scoring in 2009-10 with a career-high 19 goals and 27 points.
Notre Dame's most valuable player in 2008-09, he recorded a career-high 32 points and led the team with 17 goals. The 23-year-old finished his collegiate career with 91 points on 57 goals and 34 assists.
Stewart will continue his NFL journey on Sunday when the Jets host the Cincinnati Bengals in their second preseason game of the year. For more on Stewart's professional aspirations, check out Dennis Waszak's recent Associated Press story.
- Josh Flynt
Flynt will be sharing many of his musings on Irish UNDerground throughout the season. Here's his first take after experiencing Notre Dame's football media day.
As the Irish prepare for the upcoming school year and 2011 season, several exciting media platforms have been revamped and introduced to provide fans with a more complete look at Notre Dame's 26 varsity athletic teams. Along with the recent launch of the Notre Dame Athletics YouTube channel this week's introduction of Irish UNDerground will provide exclusive and behind-the-scenes content regarding the Fighting Irish. Through the new blog and an increased emphasis on social media, we hope to provide interesting and engaging features, photos and videos that go beyond the box score and the traditional press releases found on other Irish athletics news sources.
A recent marketing graduate from Our Lady's University, I have been fortunate to return to Notre Dame less than three months after graduating as I began working in the athletics department as a social media intern earlier this week. In the fall, I will be focused on Notre Dame football, and throughout the year I hope to provide you with a glimpse of Fighting Irish athletics like you have never seen before.
Cindy (Daws) Mosley - University of Notre Dame
Then: Daws was a midfielder on Notre Dame's NCAA championship team in 1995 and runner-up squad in 1996, when she was named the Missouri Athletic Club's Player of the Year. She was a two-time All-Big East and two-time Academic All-Big East selection and three-time Academic All-American.
Now: Mosley is a stay-at-home mom to her four kids in Mt. Prospect, Ill. After playing professionally in Japan for a year, she worked for nine years in marketing in soccer and volleyball for Wilson Sporting Goods. She is married to former Notre Dame football player Emmett Mosley.
In her words: "I think being able to juggle all of the things you need to juggle within college, it helps you with that skill set in real life. Your school work, your team responsibilities and social aspects - it's multitasking and being able to put them in order of what's most important. Now, you have 10 different people asking you to do something, and everyone things theirs is most important. You have to decide what's important. From college to life, that's probably the No. 1 thing.
"Your competitiveness, your drive, your hard work - whether you're succeeding at your job or your social life, I think all those things you learn in sports help you in those areas."
Jennifer Renola - University of Notre Dame
Then: Renola was in goal for Notre Dame's NCAA title in 1995 and runner-up finish in 1996, when she was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year. She was an All-Big East Conference selection, a two-time All-American and a two-time Academic All-Big East pick. She finished her career as the Irish's all-time leader in shutouts and goals-against average. Renola earned NCAA Today's Top VIII recognition and NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
Now: After working for adidas and as an assistant coach at the University of Texas, Renola has worked for Nike the past five years. The Portland, Ore., resident started in marketing and sales and is now in a sales management role for Nike.
"With sports in college, it's all about juggling different things. You just get accustomed to that at an early age. You receive constructive criticism, and that's similar to a work environment. Every year, you get a review about what you did well and what you didn't do well, and (playing NCAA sports) prepared me for that kind of feedback."
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With the ball bobbling backwards, linebacker Titus Brown was able to pick it up off the ground and stumble in for a 43-yard touchdown.
Smith was credited with a sack and forced fumble in his preseason debut, a 27-17 win for Cleveland over defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay. (see the video here).
And in vintage Brian Smith form, he let his Twitter fans know his true feelings soon after the game (@BCSmith58).
- Topping the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's (NSCAA) preseason poll is No. 1 Notre Dame for the second time in school history, having also opened in the top spot in 2005 (the year after they won their second NCAA national championship) ... in addition, the BIG EAST Conference unveiled its preseason coaches' poll and all-conference team, with Notre Dame being a unanimous choice to win the league's National Division title ... individually, Melissa Henderson was unanimously selected as the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, the first time any conference player was a unanimous preseason pick for that honor since another Notre Dame forward (and two-time Hermann Trophy recipient), Kerri Hanks, did so in 2007 ... what's more, Jessica Schuveiller was tapped as the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year, sharing that honor with Marquette's Kerry McBride.
- Along with Aaron Maund, Dillon Powers was named to the men's soccer preseason all-BIG EAST team ... the Irish duo was among 12 players named to the squad ... Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division, while Connecticut was tabbed to win the division ... the Huskies received 10 first-place votes among the eight Blue Division squads, while the Irish garnered two ... Louisville was picked to win the Red Division ... the league's 16 head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams ... Maund and Powers both garnered second-team all-BIG EAST honors last season ... they will serve as team captains for the Irish in 2011 along with fifth-year senior Greg Klazura.
- Senior Kristen Dealy and sophomore Andrea McHugh have been named to the all-BIG EAST volleyball preseason team ... McHugh was the league's freshman of the year in 2010 while Dealy copped her third straight all-tournament team nod following the league's championship showdown ... Notre Dame was tabbed second in the coaches' preseason poll behind defending champion Louisville ... the Irish received one first-place vote.
- Junior Skylar Diggins and fifth-year senior Devereaux Peters each scored a game-high 14 points to pace six Americans in double figures as the United States cruised past Slovakia, 114-68, on Monday morning (late Sunday night in South Bend) in a World University Games preliminary round game at the Universiade Main Gym in Shenzhen, China ... Diggins made 5-of-9 shots from the field while adding three assists and two steals in 22 minutes ... Peters came off the bench to knock down 7-of-13 shots, grabbing four rebounds (all offensive) in 16 minutes ... senior Natalie Novosel joined Diggins in the starting lineup for the second night in a row, finishing with six points, two assists and two steals in 14 minutes.
- The USA men's basketball team topped the 100-point mark for the third time in as many games in cruising to a 112-68 victory over South Korea on Monday at the World University Games at the Universiade Main Gym in Shenzen, China ... the USA squad moved to 3-0 with the win, while South Korea fell to 1-2 as Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis finished with four points and five rebounds in nearly 14 minutes of action off the bench.
The photo gallery of Notre Dame's football uniforms to be worn at Michigan was the most viewed gallery of all CBSSports.com college sites in 2010-11.
Notre Dame unveiled its retro-style adidas football uniforms this past June for the Sept. 10 contest against the Wolverines to celebrate the first night game ever played at Michigan Stadium.
This will be the first prime-time meeting between the Irish and Wolverines since a 1990 matchup of top-five teams in South Bend. ESPN will broadcast the game nationally at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
Paying homage to the rich football tradition of Notre Dame football, the Irish "Under the Lights" adidas uniform includes a white jersey with Kelly green lettering and two Kelly green shoulder stripes, old gold-colored pants, white socks with green stripes and white shoes. A large shamrock logo appears on the traditional gold helmet for the first time since the early 1960s. The years the Fighting Irish won National Championships are listed inside the bottom hem of the jersey.
"We are happy to partner with adidas to help commemorate the first night game at Michigan Stadium with new uniforms," said Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly. "It seems fitting that the two schools with the two best winning percentages in college football play in this historic game. I know our players are looking forward to the contest and both teams' new uniforms will only add to the excitement in the Big House on September 10."
Fans can purchase the Notre Dame retro jersey from the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore. adidas has also launched an "Under the Lights" fan collection - including retro style t-shirts, hats, jackets and sweatshirts featuring a vintage feel and design inspired by Notre Dame football history and its rivalry with Michigan.
Throw in the fact that he couldn't sign with a team until the end of the lockout and it's easy to see how tough the situation would be. Williams quickly emerged as a bit of a fan favorite from the day he signed as an undrafted rookie free agent.
As you can see in the video, one of the reasons he chose the 49ers was the potential playing time available if Aubrayo Franklin left as a free agent. It was a roll of the dice on Williams' part but he must have received some manner of reassurance from the teams. Whatever the case, Williams' opportunity in San Francisco has reached a somewhat unexpected level. Along with Aubrayo Franklin leaving, Isaac Sopoaga has missed all the team's practices prior to yesterday, which means Williams and Ricky Jean-Francois get bumped up the depth chart in practice.
Throw in Ray McDonald not being able to participate in the first week of practice and Williams was in an ideal position, operating as the first string nose tackle for a week.
This past Friday, Williams came on to start the second half in relief of starter Ricky Jean-Francois. Williams got significant playing time at nose tackle but did have to split his snaps with fellow undrafted free agent Sealver Siliga. Williams recorded three total tackles, with arguably his most impressive being on a screen pass to Joique Bell. He was able to flash some of his athleticism as he fought off his blocker to grab Bell and drag him down for only a three yard gain.
Manti Te'o's established a career-high in tackles with 21 against Stanford, becoming the first player in the FBS in 2010 to eclipse the 20-tackle barrier. No player in the FBS has had more tackles in one game against a BCS conference foe since Durell Mapp of North Carolina had 23 stops against North Carolina State on Nov. 10, 2007. The 21 tackles against Stanford not only rank as the sixth-most in single-game school history, but also the second-most ever by an Irish sophomore.
Football head coach Brian Kelly made a recent appearance on Jim Rome Is Burning. Without showing the cards he has in store for the upcoming season, Kelly chatted with Rome about the Irish and the BCS, Notre Dame's starting quarterback job and Michael Floyd.
South Bend Tribune - After a hectic July spent criss-crossing the country recruiting and a busy first week of August spent working on women's basketball committees, Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw thought she might get a chance to catch her breath with a relaxing weekend.
But a phone call from Denver, where the USA women's basketball team was practicing in preparation for the World University Games that start in China on Sunday, had McGraw facing a full-court stress.
McGraw found out that Devereaux Peters, one of three Notre Dame players on the USA Team, suffered a knee injury during practice with the USA Team in Denver.
What happens when you give Tim Abromaitis a camera during his trip to China for the World University Games? Even though Ashton Gibbs playfully admitted that his Pittsburgh squad needs to beat Notre Dame on the hardwood during BIG EAST action this season, he certainly has the game to back it up.
USF's Daniels injures hamstring | Rush D key to success | Devine statue going up
Running on empty no longer? | Crist noted for good works | Irish to honor Devine
Special practice report | Gray serious about role | Irish have experience on line
Special practice | Kelly: Notre Dame on run early in camp
Lindy's Team Preview: Notre Dame | Notre Dame Jonas Gray turning heads | Specialty Work
Notre Dame impact underclassmen | Alford: No rust on Floyd
Devine's image to be set in stone | Land mines for Notre Dame, more
Irish offensive line gives Kelly joy | Floyd has full backing of teammates
Mattison sure stout Wolverine defense | Funnyman Gray serious about running back role
Goodman wants to avoid more 'mishaps' | Vikings' Rudolph 'rusty' playing with first team
Men's Basketball: Hoops to appear with Katz on Aug. 18
Hockey: Johns, Tynan remain at camp | Simon joins Icehogs
Men's Lacrosse: Vote for David Earl and Scott Rodgers for the All-MLL Team
Baseball: Brewers happy to have Counsell | Samardzija earning his keep in bullpen
Men's Golf: Scodro qualifies for United States Amateur Championship
Women's Swimming and Diving: Irish compete at Conoco | 2011-12 schedule out
Women's Soccer: Notre Dame rolls over Nebraska | Henderson scores four
Couldn't have said it better myself.
ESPN.com - Uh-oh. Here comes Notre Dame with a lofty preseason perch. You can practically hear the cries of "overrated!" outside South Bend at a team that finished 8-5 last season.
But the Irish appeared to turn a corner by winning their final four games of 2010. They return a boatload of starters, and their strengths should be -- gasp! -- a defense that shut down Utah, USC and Miami late in 2010 and an experienced offensive line.
If the QB derby produces a worthy winner (Dayne Crist will likely get the first snaps of the season) and if star WR Michael Floyd returns strong from his offseason suspension, this team should be favored in just about all of its games.
This could be the rare recent Irish collection that meets -- or possibly even exceeds -- its preseason expectations.
Gotta give the obligatory shout to Notre Dame assistant media relations director Michael Bertsch, who made the first of what is likely to be numerous background appearances this seasons.
P.S. Nice hair, Bertsch.
Caution: Buckle your chinstrap before watching.
UND.com's Jack Nolan recently received a VIP tour from hockey head coach Jeff Jackson of the ongoing construction progress of the yet-to-be-unveiled Compton Family Ice Arena.