Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Tuesday, December 19

Irish Are Looking Good

Good news for those sweating out whether Notre Dame will lose some football players due to academic ineligibility -– relax.

The Irish all passed their first semester courses, so all will be available for the Jan. 3 Sugar Bowl battle with Louisiana State.

“We had a couple of guys rally down the stretch,” coach Charlie Weis said, “so that was good news walking in the door.”

Players got last weekend off after last week’s finals. They resumed practice on Monday. Weis said he hopes to have the team’s grade point average available by Thursday.

Among the highlights of Tuesday’s media day was the fact that Weis had completed his evaluation process with potential fifth-year players such as safety Tom Zbikowski, tight end John Carlson and defensive tackle Trevor Laws.

Because all Irish players are required to graduate in four years, there is no redshirting. Players who don’t play their first year and want to go a fifth year must apply.

Zbikowski, Carlson and Laws all can apply for that fifth year of eligibility. Or, they could enter the NFL Draft. Or they could enter the work force.

Weis would only say that he’s completed his evaluation process with them and that, when everything is settled, “Notre Dame fans will be happy with the results.”

That suggests that most, if not all, will stay one more year.


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