Busy week, huh?
Richard Catoire from Virginia Beach, Va., writes: Golson + "Poor Academic Judgment" plus earning "trust back" can only mean he cheated...why didn't this get reported as such? Also, with a coach who publicly demeans his own son (knucklehead) to try to explain why an 18-21 year old does "crazy things" says it all. A Catholic University should be embarrassed by having either of these individuals at the school.
Matt Fortuna: Richard, it did not get reported as such because we report facts, and there is no official paperwork we have access to that states that Golson actually cheated. (Nor will there likely ever be any that we can get our hands on, given that Notre Dame is a private school.) As for the dreaded "K" word (I don't want to offend anyone) … rumor has it that Brian Kelly also let his son eat cereal with sugar the next morning, then let him watch reality television later that night. A true menace to society.
Cole Hodge from Gallatin, Tenn., writes: Hello Matt, I've been an Irish fan since birth, and I was looking forward to this season, for I saw a repeat in last season. My concerns with ND is not that Tommy Rees can't win games, for he has proven he can run the offense effectively, but I'm worried about the plays he won't make with hislegs if the O line crumbles against a team like Michigan or Stanford. Also, how i Brian Kelly re-tweeking the playbook for Rees? Is there reason to fear, or is our defense going to keep us light years away from losing anyway?
Matt Fortuna: Cole, as I've said before, you can be in much worse situations when losing the starting quarterback from a squad coming off a national title game appearance. Notre Dame is lucky to have a guy in Rees who has 18 career starts and knows his role well. He clearly doesn't have the athletic tools that Golson has, and he clearly can't afford to have a repeat showing of 2011 with his lack of ball protection, but if he can cut down on the turnovers and Notre Dame's defense can pick up from last year (which was a much better unit than the one from the 2011 team, which finished 8-5 despite the offensive gaffes), I see no reason the Irish can't still aim and compete for a BCS bowl berth this season. I think Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire will both likely see some time given the different dimensions each add -- and given Kelly's philosophy with the position -- but the Irish are fortunate to have a guy they know they can count on for Week 1 in a situation like this one.
Thomas O Kelly from Pasadena, Calif., writes: The gods are rightfully upset. And I'm glad that Golson is gone. It is no surprise to me as I have said/thought all along that Golson isn't smart enough to be at ND nor smart enough to run Coach Kelly's playbook. He is a much more of an ad lib guy than a "execute the playbook guy" , e.g. he can play the piano but can't read music. Coach Kelly has mad lousy decisions at QB training/use since he came to ND in 2010. He is a good coach overall but flawed seriously with his arrogant thinking at the QB position. I doubt that there is any other major college football program that does not have a real QB Position Coach other than ND (under Kelly). He has insisted on personally training the starting QB including eating supper regularly with Golson. In his playing days Kelly was on the defensive side of the ball at a small college in Massachusetts. What shows most of all Kelly's arrogant thinking at the QB position was his role in allowing Gunner Kiel, a truly elite freshman QB, to transfer to Cincinnati last month. I knew that ND would end up regretting that and it's come sooner than later. (See Tommy Tuberville.)One of the few bright spots out of this is that the departure of Golson should allow the very underplayed and underrated Andrew Hendrix plenty of time on the field. Hendrix is a solid QB and a pre-med honor student and deserves snaps. And I had been rooting for Gunner Kiel since he came to ND last year but Kelly and the OC would not give him the coaching and deference he deserved.Let Golson go to a junior college and I hope Kiel will be able to lead Cincinnati to a BCS game in 2014. As a transfer student, Kiel has to sit out 2013 but he'll be with an outstanding coaching staff that has won BCS games at other schools.
Matt Fortuna: Thomas, just so I've got it all covered here: Everett Golson isn't smart enough to run Brian Kelly's offense (after going to the national title game in his first year as a starter), Kelly was too close with Golson (after Golson and Chuck Martin bonded extremely well this past year), Kelly was arrogant with Gunner Kiel (a player who has committed to four different colleges before ever playing a college game) and Andrew Hendrix is the answer at quarterback (after seeing hardly any action through the past three years, including a 2011 campaign that was marred by sloppy QB play).
OK, so Kelly and his staff are awful. Got it.