Today (Friday Aug. 3) marks the final day of summer classes at Notre Dame. Tomorrow, Aug. 4, begins a new session of classes for the Fighting Irish football program.
Training camp begins Saturday at 10 a.m. for the 2012 Notre Dame team.
Fall practice begins Saturday morning from 10 a.m. through 12:15. Here is the itinerary of how August camp will be handled, with some new touches:
• There will be 20 practices that the team will have had prior to the start of the fall semester on Tuesday, Aug. 21. During that time, there will be four double days, with practices in the morning and afternoon: Friday, Aug. 10, Monday, Aug. 13, Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Friday, Aug. 17.
• Interestingly, when the school year starts on the 21st, the Irish will practice that morning from 6:45 to 8:30. It will also practice from 6:15 to 7:30 in the morning on Aug. 22 and 6:45 to 8:30 on Aug. 23rd. Mornings are when Notre Dame held practice the last two springs.
• Notre Dame also will have morning sessions from Monday Aug. 27 through Wednesday Aug. 29 before embarking later that evening for the trip to Ireland. It will be interesting to see whether morning practices become the norm during the fall semester — one of the questions that Kelly will be asked at his noon conference today.
• The media will be allowed to view four practices. The first will be the opener on Aug. 4, confined to the first 20 minutes. Aug. 8 will be the one day it will be allowed to view the entire session, although cameras must be off after the first 20 minutes. It will also be permitted to view the first hour on Aug. 11 and Aug. 16, with the cameras again off after the first 20 minutes.
• Another new twist is the assistant coaches will be allowed to meet with the media only once in August, that coming on Media Day on Aug. 16. Head coach Brian Kelly is scheduled to be available about every third practice or so. From Aug. 21 through Aug. 27, requested players will be available one time.
• Last year the starting quarterback wasn’t announced until the first day of classes began on Aug. 23, or about a week and a half prior to the opener. Whether that will be a target day again this year is uncertain, but Kelly has repeatedly stressed that it will take time.
• With incumbent Tommy Rees suspended for the Sept. 1 opener — although he will be able to practice — this will mark the first time since 1972 that the incumbent starting QB at Notre Dame will see someone else who has never started take the first snap in the opener. Cliff Brown started the last seven games of 1971, but was beaten out by sophomore Tom Clements for the 1972 opener (Clements could not play in 1971 because that was the last year of freshman ineligibility).
• On the trip to Dublin, Notre Dame will practice on Wednesday morning Aug. 29 from 6:15 to 7:30 before attending classes and then getting on the plane at 6:45 p.m. It is scheduled to arrive in Ireland at 7 a.m. on Thursday Aug. 30. Notre Dame will hold practice that afternoon from 12:15 to 1:50 and a short one on Friday, Aug. 31 (12:30 to 1:15). Kickoff is the next day at 2 p.m. Dublin time.