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Everett Golson confirms Notre Dame departure, but vows 2014 return

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who led the Irish to the national championship game last year, released a statement confirming he was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame because of “poor academic judgment.”

"I 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," Golson said. "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, a rising sophomore from Myrtle Beach, S.C., threw for 2,405 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2012. He also rushed for 298 yards and six scores.

Golson said he planned to be back for the fall of 2014.

"At this point, I understand how my integrity could be in question but I want to reassure my supporters that through this experience I will return a better student athlete as well as a better individual,” Golson said in his statement. "Lastly, I want to thank the University of Notre Dame for the opportunity already granted and also the opportunity going forth to regain my eligibility in the winter of 2014."

Golson’s departure leaves the Irish with Tommy Rees as its best option to start and Andrew Hendrix and early enrollee Malik Zaire as backups. Rees, a senior, has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 34 touchdowns during his career.

Highly-touted freshman Gunner Kiel, who transferred to Cincinnati earlier this spring, could actually return to Notre Dame per a loophole in the transfer rule, but told the Cincinnati Enquirer via text message: "I'm a Bearcat."

There are going to be a lot of questions as to what prompted Notre Dame to take such harsh action against Golson, especially when former players like Michael Floyd had multiple alcohol-related infractions, but was still able to not only remain in school, but also play.

All too often, the pressure of being the starting quarterback, especially on a top-rated squad, can cause a player to put academics on the backburner while he tries his best to live up to football expectations.

Unfortunately, his is just another black mark for a program that has been under public scrutiny since its lopsided 42-14 loss to Alabama in the national championship. Since then, Notre Dame has dealt with the scandal of linebacker Manti Te’o and his fake dead girlfriend, Kiel’s transfer and the realization that the university is still paying former coach Charlie Weis a ton of money to coach at Kansas.

And this Golson situation is far from resolved. Golson failed to mention where he would get his education this summer and fall to get back in good academic standing with Notre Dame.

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