In his most candid interview since being suspended from the University of Notre Dame for the Fall 2013 semester, Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson sat down with Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated to open up about his “poor academic judgement” and his future with the program.
Golson, then a redshirt freshman, led the Irish to an undefeated regular season in 2012 before losing to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. He finished the year with 2,703 total yards and 18 total touchdowns.
In May, it was announced that he had been suspended from the university for the Fall 2013 semester and that he wouldn’t be eligible to play football this year. At the time, Golson gave the following statement, according to ESPN.com:
have been informed by the University of Notre Dame that due to my poor academic judgment that I have been suspended from the University for the 2013 Fall Term. I take full responsibility for my poor choices and will do all that is asked of me to regain the trust of my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the entire Notre Dame community.
Golson danced around getting too specific in his conversation with Staples, but he did reveal that his academic discretion had to do with an exam, as opposed to a paper or project, and that he exhibited poor judgement.
Later, after talking about how hard it’s been to watch Notre Dame play without him this season—something he says has conjured mixed emotions—Golson explained that he’s spent the fall working with QB guru George Whitfield, who has helped him alter some throwing mechanics.
Staples then asked why Golson opted not to pursue a junior college transfer (which would have allowed him to play this year) or leave for another FBS university, to which the quarterback responded:
My heart was set on going back to Notre Dame. Not necessarily to prove [anything] to anybody—just doing it for me. I felt like that’s something that I started, and I didn’t want to run away from…I was gonna face it.
Golson said he plans on returning to school as a “more polished individual,” and that he’s focused on improving in the classroom as well as on the football field.
The Irish are 6-2 this season with Tommy Rees playing quarterback, and they just squeaked in at No. 25 in the Week 10 BCS rankings.