Four days after the Pac-12 cancelled nonconference games because of the coronavirus pandemic, Appalachian State inquired about joining Notre Dame’s 2020 schedule as a replacement.
Doug Banks, the associate athletics director for development, reached out to Ron Powlus, Notre Dame’s associate athletic director for football, via email on July 14.
“I just wanted to reach out and see if there would be any interest in a game with App State depending on what happens with conference only game decisions,” AD Banks wrote. “Would be more than interested if any scenario would open up this year or even in future years.”
Powlus replied 25 hours later with a polite rebuff.
“With all the unknowns at this time, we are not at a point to add games,” he wrote. “However, happy to note your interest and as scheduling gets sorted out, I will be evaluating all possibilities. I’ll keep your potential availability in mind.”
Besides a back-and-forth about Banks’ and Powlus’ shared time at the University of Kansas (2012-14), there was no further communication between the pair. (Read the emails here.)
The emails were released Thursday by Appalachian State University in response to One Foot Down’s Freedom of Information Act request for correspondence between university representatives between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 20, 2021 about scheduling football games.
The Mountaineers, who compete in the Sun Belt Conference, finished 9-3 in 2020 and won the Myrtle Beach Bowl. They were 10-4 this past season. Their recent non-conference opponents have included the Miami Hurricanes (2021), North Carolina Tar Heels (2019), Penn State Nittany Lions (2018), Georgia Bulldogs (2017) and Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2017).
Notre Dame and Applachian State have never played each other in football; the Boone, N.C. program elevated to FBS in 2014. The Irish played just one nonconference game in 2020 against the South Florida Bulls, missing annual games with the Stanford Cardinal and USC Trojans.
What do you think, Irish fans? Should Notre Dame re-establish contact with Appalachian State and fill a hole in a schedule in the next 10 years?
Would you like to see Notre Dame play App State in football by 2032?
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