(Still) Quiet on the Suspension Front

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has presided over 10 official press conferences since a handful of his players were accused of academic dishonesty.

Saturday night's post-game media gathering in the wake of a 31-0 evisceration of Michigan was the first and only of the lot that did not include a question regarding the suspended quintet.

The other nine included nearly an identical response from the team's head coach.

"I have not been updated other than what I’ve shared with you guys," Kelly said Thursday night. "I think the last time was at our press conference on Tuesday. I have not gotten an update other than they’re still waiting to hear what their status is."

With Notre Dame 2-0 and fresh off a night-long celebration at the expense of the reeling program from up north, fewer Irish fans are preoccupied daily with the fate of the missing five.

When there's good news on the field, off-the-field matters matter far less.

That doesn't mean frustration is absent from the ongoing…and ongoing…and ongoing, equation.

"You guys are anxious. I’m anxious. We’re all anxious," said Kelly. "We all want to know but there’s nothing we can do. Certainly, they’re anxious. But they’re trying to move as best they can through the process. I don’t know what to tell you, because I don’t know much.

Asked why he hasn't been more proactive in the investigation to date, Kelly reaffirmed his initial stance.

"This is separation of church and state. This is the deans. They have their domain and that’s their business. It truly is their business and I respect that," said Kelly. "They don’t give me advice about play calling and that’s the truth of the matter. Whether that’s a poor analogy or not, they handle academic honesty. They handle those things. That’s their domain and that’s their world. I want my guys back but I get it. They work and that’s their job. I really don’t have any say on it."

Kelly and the Irish will likely play a third game without DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, Keivarae Russell, and Ishaq Williams Saturday in Indianapolis.

If any member of the five is cleared Friday, he'd join the traveling squad and suit up against Purdue.

"We’d get them down there as quickly as we could and welcome them and put them in a uniform," said Kelly. "Whether we could get them to know what we’re doing offensively, defensively and special teams, who knows about that? But they would certainly be welcomed as part of our football team."

Almost Back

Sophomore wide receiver Torii Hunter, Jr. remains at least a week away from making his Irish debut. After missing last season due to recovery from a broken femur suffered in January 2013, Hunter has been sidelined by a groin injury since the early portion of August camp.

Kelly said his debut however is forthcoming.

"He is not gonna play this week," said Kelly. "Looked pretty good (in practice). We got him involved in a number of team drills, 7-on-7. I think he’s definitely going to be ready to go for Syracuse (Sept. 27)."

Kelly noted that Hunter will help the Irish despite a deep receiving corps off to a fast start this fall.

"Well, he's first of all somebody that is explosive. He's an explosive player," said Kelly. "He is somebody that (can gain) yards after the catch. He's a strong player in the sense that he can handle somebody on top of him. It will be interesting to see. I think we've got to get him out there and really figure out what position. He's somebody that could really play all three. He could be in the slot, but he could play on the perimeter (X or W). I'm anxious to really figure out where it is.  But there is no question when we get him healthy he's going to get an opportunity to play for us."


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