Recently the Chicago Tribune came out with an article by Brian Hamilton titled Kelly Has All He Needs to Win with Irish: Administration Finally Providing Necessary Big-Time Resources.
Naturally, most Notre Dame fans reaction is to spit on such a piece from the Tribune. However, this one doesn't seem all that bad.
Sure, Hamilton tries really hard to frame the discussion as if Notre Dame making some moves to help out the football team is a bad thing, but to me I see it as a great thing.
There are three main issues that are dealt with in Hamilton's article and I will speak to them here.
An absolute no-brainer. That Notre Dame ever lagged behind other schools in this department was a gigantic shame. Now that the Irish have outstanding practice facilities, state-of-the-art Gug Complex, and have finally given in to providing the players with a training table, it makes it easier to win.
Absolutely no guilt on that one.
Floyd and the Loosening of Res Life Restrictions
The Michael Floyd saga has proven that Res Life has changed its ways, although you can bet Notre Dame is still going to be tougher than most other schools with their student discipline. We'll just have to wait to see that statement proven, but Kelly will likely not have as much power here as people think.
Hamilton points out that this was Floyd's third alcohol related offense, but anyone who has taken the time to look at the situation knows the school has handled the situation very well. It's true Floyd probably would have faced some serious repercussions from the "old" Res Life, but the old way was not a good or fair way to begin with.
Still feelin' good about this.
Lowering the Admission Standards
If Notre Dame ever gets really good again, this line will be repeated endlessly, even if it isn't necessarily true.
This is one of those topics that is shrouded in a lot of mystery because we don't have a lot of facts to go on. Even in Hamilton's article there is precious little information to back up such a statement.
Even if it is true, and the administration is working with Brian Kelly to get in recruits who otherwise wouldn't have made it when Bob Davie was coach, then I say "terrific!"
I've never been shy that Notre Dame has to push the envelope and bring in some borderline kids every year. Grades are not much of a concern to me as much as work ethic, personality, and background.
What's more, I fully expect the Irish to run into some problems with a few recruits during the Brian Kelly era. But that's life. We did the same with Lou Holtz and we moved on.
At the end of the day it does appear that the administration is helping to bring back football to its place as a national powerhouse.
This is a good thing, and in no way should be framed in a way as to suggest that Notre Dame is selling its soul for gridiron glory. This has happened before in South Bend, and it will happen in the future.
There will be bumps along the way, there will be mistakes, but Notre Dame will still do the majority of things within the framework that it always has.
History has proven that the university has always had a love-hate relationship with the football team and that whenever the team gets too powerful, it's influence and winning ways are curtailed.
Conversely, the university has also proven that after an extended period of choking the football team, it will pick itup off the ground, pat it on the back, and build it back up again.
It looks like the school has finally started putting the pieces back together.