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Saturday Feb.11 Coffee

  • Video:

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — About two feet of snow had fallen on Grand Valley State's campus during Thanksgiving week. A home playoff game loomed for the Division II football powerhouse, so this was no time to drift in any sense.

    The players couldn't help themselves. A post-practice parking lot snowball battle ensued. Eventually, the head coach emerged to survey this flakiness from a team in the thick of the postseason.

    Martin brings defensive perspective to offens

    Switching sides of the ball is nothing new for Chuck Martin, who's charged with smoothing out the Irish,0,4214984.story
  • Notre Dame Education

    How come almost every poster talks about the academics at ND as if no other college or university is on the same level? I'm not discrediting the university of notre dame by any means, believe me. But a college education is what you make of it. A recruit like Davonte Neal would do good for himself academically at a place like the university of Arizona if he majored in chemistry or physics etc. So why does everyone insist on discrediting every academic institution when it comes to academics? Let's not pretend anymore that majoring in film, theatre, and television or African studies at Notre Dame makes anyone that much more competitive in the job market compared to majoring in communications at another university, let alone in a real major like science or engineering etc. College education is what one makes of it period.

  • There are differences. Not as much in the education part of the package, but in how its delivered. First, our kids are free to major in anything they choose, not directed or encouraged to find comfort in less strenuous majors. We can do this because we are not dealing with kids who just squeak by the NCAA minimums for curriculum, grades and test scores. Then our kids are melded into the student body just like every other kid, not isolated in athletic dorms and in classes that mysteriously end up with all athletes as students. Again, given the quality of kid we bring in, we don't have to monitor them 24/7. They can have a student life along with an athletic life, football is not all-encompassing. And if they work hard, use all the resources at their disposal, they WILL graduate. The school and football program are both 100% committed to every single student athlete leaving ND with a degree. A valuable degree.

    With the exception of a few loons, ND people all know that you can acheieve a fine college education at any number of hundreds of schools. We are not unique in that concept. But based purely on the numbers, the odds of you being a successful student athlete and leaving school with a valuable college degree are higher at ND than most schools, and much higher than many schools.

  • I don't recollect anyone stating that Davonte can't get a quality education elsewhere. I have actually read quite a few posts stating that a player can get a great education at many institutes if they apply themselves and work hard. The fact of the matter is visitors have brought up the value of degrees (ie. stating their 101st ranked B-school is comparable to ND's top 10 B-school). Just ask any corporate recruiter how big a difference that makes according to their hiring procedures and productivity charts. A kid can go to a state U, do well, and have many great opportunities in the state or potentially the region. A Notre Dame degree, all things being equal, holds much more weight across the nation/world (Stanford, Northwestern, Vandy not withstanding). The most salient difference is the amazing graduation rate for ALL races, religions, and socio economic status' at ND. How could we NOT point out that 98:100 players graduate with one of the most prestigious degrees in the world when most of the competition graduates 1/2 their players (some much less when it comes to black players). That is a distinct and important advantage which ND has over 99% of the competition. Combine that FACT with the unique exposure on national TV, plenty of players in the NFL, and one of the most beautiful/prestigious schools in the world and we fans would be neglectful if we didn't point out these facts and advantages.

    When you recognize that our unique advantages also lead to a "unique" approach to coverage from the media you see yet another pertinent reason to point these FACTS out. Just look at how opposing coaches are handled by the media when they illogically and unfairly attack HS kids (Miles/Urban towards Kiel/Davonte) and then think about the coverage Kelly received for swearing. Miles/Urban made ill founded and hypocritical insults regarding HS kids character, while Kelly yelled at players after botched plays. The coverage of Miles' offensive comments was an iota compared to Kelly, whereas the coverage of Urban's comments was practically non existent. There are plenty of opposing coaches bad mouthing ND to receuits because they know we have advantages they can NEVER match. Now Im not saying they shouldnt have covered Kelly's tirades, but where was the coverage of Pelini, Spurrier or Saban's recurring tirades? Why the heck wouldn't we remind visiting prospects of these facts? Unless of course you feel modesty should preclude us from sharing the unique advantages which have appealed to so many amazing kids over our unrivaled history.

  • I will answer the OP in two ways.

    1) Although you can get an EXCELLENT education at ANY college or university, Notre Dame stands above all other FBS schools in helping its football players to achieve that excellent education. As stated above, the academic experience at ND is real. Football players are real students. Do they have tutors and get special counseling and help registering for classes? SURE, but they do the work. This isn't just my opinion, I have a nice stat for you that we all know about:

    The most recent football graduation rates (kids entering school in 2003) for Neal's final four schools:

    Notre Dame: 99%
    UNC: 75%
    Arkansas: 55%
    Arizona: 48%

    You tell me where Neal has the best chance to get a good education! Debate over.

    2) As was discussed above, the value of a Notre Dame degree carries weight NATIONALLY and beyond. On a personal note, I can give you first hand experience on what an ND education means:

    My freshman year in the Debartolo Hall auditorium for General Chemistry. First class on day one of college. The classroom is full and the prof walks out. First thing he says: "Please raise your hand if you were valedictorian or salutatorian of your high school." I shit you not, 90% of the class raised their hands! Everyone started laughing nervously, as he explained we were going to have to work harder than ever before because we were now competing with the best.

    After college, when I went to grad school, I remember being in much smaller classrooms for grad level courses and they were NOTHING compared to the difficulty of classes I had at ND. Within the first few weeks of grad school when others were struggling, I realized with crystal clarity that ND had prepared me to be the best at what I planned to do.

    This is what you get with Notre Dame. Does it matter if Neal goes to the NFL and becomes a star? No. But how many HS stars don't make it to the NFL? How many college stars have short NFL "careers" and find themselves unemployed at age 30? Neal sounds like he has a pretty level-headed approach to this process. I wish him the best no matter what he decides.

  • Mike's Mailbox: Would Syracuse still be unbeaten if Fab Melo had played against Notre Dame?

    Q: If Fab Melo played in the Notre Dame game, do you think SU would still be undefeated?

    Waters: It’s obvious Melo makes a huge impact on how well Syracuse plays on both the defensive and offensive ends of the court.
    Offensively, the 7-foot, 255-pound sophomore sets screens for Syracuse’s shooters. He’s become proficient at the pick-and-roll with Scoop Jardine. His ability to post up, get the ball and either turn to score or kick it back out enables the Orange to run its offense through the big man.

    On defense, he takes up space, blocks shots, alters shots and takes charges. He’s also very vocal in the middle of the zone, barking out instructions to his teammates.
    That said, Melo’s absence is not the reason Syracuse lost to Notre Dame. Syracuse’s defensive intensity lagged throughout the game. The Orange allowed Notre Dame to go 8-for-16 from 3-point range. On offense, Syracuse shot 28 percent from the field in falling behind 35-23 at halftime.
    You could argue that the SU players might have been down after learning just 24 hours earlier that they would be without Melo, but that’s impossible to know for sure.
    What I am sure about is Syracuse played so poorly at Notre Dame that the Orange would have lost that game with or without Melo.

  • Notre Dame Men's Basketball: Irish slide past Blue Demons

    SOUTH BEND – This was supposed to be the situation somewhere along the line against some of the league’s elite, not against a team near the Big East basement.

    Notre Dame had to work far longer than anyone expected to dispatch DePaul, 84-76, at Purcell Pavilion.

    The Irish have won six straight games to improve to 17-8, 9-3 in the Big East. Losers of 32 of its last 34 league road games since 2008-09, DePaul falls to 11-13, 2-10.

    Jack Cooley delivered another monster game with 22 points and 14 rebounds, his second consecutive and eighth double-double this season, and in his career. Jerian Grant added a career-high 2xand Eric Atkins busted loose in a big second half to finish with 14 points and six assists.

    It was a season high for Notre Dame for both points scored and allowed in a Big East game.

    As the minutes bled off the clock – 15 minutes to play, 12, 11, 10 – there was no indication DePaul was going away anytime soon. Having let a seven-point lead in the second half slip away in seemingly an instant, the Irish managed to get it tied at 68 on a Grant 3 with 7:08 to play.

    Voicing displeasure over a foul call coming back after the timeout, DePaul coach Oliver Purnell picked up a technical foul, which opened the door for the Irish. Grant hit two free throws, Cooley followed with a lay-in and when Alex Dragicevich connected on a 3 in front of the Notre Dame bench, it was 75-68 Irish with 5:29 left.
    The second half has usually belonged to Notre Dame during its five-game win streak, and it again looked to be the case Saturday. The Irish returned with a Pat Connaughton corner 3 that snapped a tie game. But Donnavan Kirk returned to tie it with a 3 and the shootout was on.

    A Connaughton follow bucket and Atkins 3 allowed the Irish to grab a four-point lead. But Jeremiah Kelly immediately cut into that with a 3. Another Cooley dunk put the Irish up three, but another DePaul 3, this from Jamee Crockett, tied it at 49.

    Another Cooley dunk and an Atkins steal and left-handed layup gave the Irish a little breathing room (55-51) with 13:30 remaining. That was the identical score of Notre Dame’s win Wednesday at West Virginia.

    Feeling good about a four-point lead, Notre Dame then watched Worrel Clahar return off a Blue Demon timeout to hit a 3 and make it 55-54. The Irish had answers – A Grant pull-up from the top of the key, a Cooley bank shot and Atkins slithering through for a layup to stretch it to seven points.

    DePaul then returned with seven unanswered points in 1:06 to tie it at 61. And when Jeremiah Kelly drove the lane and finished with a left-handed layup, it was so long seven-point Irish lead, hello two-point deficit (63-61) with 9:09 left.

    So good at home for so long, Notre Dame found itself in an odd situation halfway though Saturday’s game. An Irish defense that had been solid for the better part of the five-game win streak had trouble guarding anything the Blue Demons did the first 20 minutes. DePaul could get almost any shot it wanted, when it wanted and where it wanted. The Irish were sliced off the dribble, down low and on the perimeter.

    The Irish were fortunate to be tied (34-all) at half.

    After allowing a league season-low 16 points three nights earlier to West Virginia, Notre Dame let DePaul to shoot 45.2 percent from the floor, 42.9 percent from 3 and score 34 points in a first half that featured five ties and six lead changes.

    Notre Dame twice trailed by as many as seven points the first 20 minutes. Not taking good care of the ball – or much care of it at all – made it tough on the Irish. Notre Dame turned it over eight times the first 16:08. It was a little of everything – sloppy passes, lazy passes, lack of concentration and even a pair of five-second violations all kept the visitors confident it could compete.

    Notre Dame shot it well the first half – 53.6 percent from the floor, but nine turnovers led to 11 DePaul points.

    Cooley did his share to keep the Irish in it. He had 10 points and eight rebounds the first 16 minutes and was Notre Dame’s lone consistent presence.

    The Irish did finish the first half with four dunks and twice led by as many as four, but this was shaping up as a far tougher task as anyone might have imagined.

  • The drama between new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and some of his Big Ten coaching brethren might have died down, but Meyer isn't over it.
    After national signing day earlier this month Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio both spoke out about Meyer's recruiting practices and Bielema called them "illegal."
    Of the 10 players that committed to Ohio State after Meyer was hired, eight had been committed somewhere else, including four-star offensive tackle Kyle Dodson of Cleveland, who was committed to Wisconsin before signing with Ohio State. Meyer grabbed one player previously committed to Michigan State, four previously committed to Penn State and two former Notre Dame pledges.
    Meyer and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith disputed claims of any impropriety, but Meyer is still fuming that his name was dragged through the mud.
    "I was very angry," Meyer said during an appearance on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. "Whenever you use those terms, something like 'illegal,' that couldn't be further from the truth. That doesn't happen here, and if it did, we would make a change with whoever did it.
    "I was very angry that would even be brought up, and there were fellow Big Ten coaches who were angry as well. And the commissioner was very angry, so there was a lot of…to have that make the presses, especially when it's inaccurate, legally you're not allowed to do that. That's slander. To use someone's name in terms like that is very wrong, but we moved on."
    Yeah, it sounds like Meyer has moved on.
    No one could blame Meyer for being upset. He put together the nation's No. 4 class in just 65 days on the job and got nothing but grief for it. As Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said: "Recruiting is recruiting until they sign. If we had somebody who changed their mind and came to us, that's OK. Urban was very aggressive but there is no pact within the conference not to continue to recruit. Open season until they sign."

    Urban Meyer is still upset over recruiting al

    Read 'Urban Meyer is still upset over recruiting allegations' from our blog Dr. Saturday on Yahoo! Sports. The drama between new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and some of his Big Ten coaching brethren might have died down, but Meyer isn't over it. After national signing day earlier this month Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and Michigan State … Continue reading →
  • I don't know, I think Its the kids character not sticking to his word