Kelly optimistic Golson will return to Notre Dame in ’14

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is optimistic that quarterback Everett Golson will return to school at some point to continue his college football career after he was suspended for the fall semester because of an academic issue.

“I have a great deal of confidence that he will be a young man back here at Notre Dame,” Kelly said Tuesday. “That’s up to him and what the university has in front of him. But I always look in the positives and I believe this will be an opportunity for Everett to really grow.

“I would say that there are defining moments in everybody’s life. Mistakes are made, especially young kids make mistakes. And so I think Everett’s going to take this, and I think it’s really going to be truly his defining moment that he’s going to grow and live and learn from this mistake.”

Golson said “poor academic judgment” led to his downfall. The former Myrtle Beach High standout and honors student was suspended from Notre Dame for academic dishonesty.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, he started 11 games and helped lead the Fighting Irish to the BCS national championship game in January.

“I’m on 30 years now in college ball, and it’s like being a dad. You’re disappointed, but you know these things happen, and you want your players to be accountable,” Kelly said.

“You can’t be surprised when you’re working with 18- to 21-year-olds. … But when there’s a family and we hope to support him, and in this instance with Everett, I’m very proud of the way he handled himself.”

Kelly said there have been no conversations about Golson transferring to another school and that Golson is committed to working in the classroom toward eventual reinstatement at Notre Dame.

With Golson gone this fall, Notre Dame is left with Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire to compete for the starting job. Rees, a senior, has started 18 games at quarterback for the Irish during his career.

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