- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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The biggest surprise from the Eddie Vanderdoes poll from two weeks ago may be that there are actually more than 200 of you (roughly 10 percent) who think that Vanderdoes should not have been docked a year of college eligibility after his divorce from Notre Dame.
It only makes sense; Irish fans make up the majority of this blog's readership, and you guys are upset that the nation's 10th-best player defected from your favorite school at the 11th hour, without giving much of a clear reason publicly.
The response of Bill Ganh from Macclenny, Fla., seems to speak for most of you.
Hello Matt, As a life long Notre Dame fan, I am a bit biased on the question of "Should a player lose a year of eligibility". I also live near Florida State and are watching them go through the same thing. I think that a player needs to lose a year if they leave a school, or like you stated, National Signing Day becomes a even more of a circus then it already is a la "Lebron James Decision". Although I do understand circumstances change part of lessons of life is learning that sometimes there is a penalty for making those changes.
Those comments are in line with what Brian Kelly told reporters last week in Bridgman, Mich., with the coach saying that it comes down to accountability. Kelly was asked if the situation was fair to Vanderdoes since Kelly left Cincinnati for Notre Dame at the end of the 2009 season with four years left on his deal with the Bearcats.
"I paid a million dollars in a buyout, too. There's accountability in making those decisions," Kelly said. "You can break the contract. He's broken the contract and he's going to go to another school. But there's a level of accountability there."
In short, with no dog in the fight, I agree with the majority here. A simple "OK" from Notre Dame to Vanderdoes' request would set an awful precedent throughout college football, rendering the recruiting rush even crazier than it already is.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said that the university wouldn’t release 2013 signee Eddie Vanderdoes to play at UCLA this year because he must be held accountable. Kelly is right. Vanderdoes signed the document. He has to live by it. So what took Notre Dame so long to commit to play at Arizona State in 2014? Sun Devils athletic director Steve Patterson said on the ESPNU College Football Podcast that it took a lot of lawyers and a lot of negotiation to get Notre Dame to agree to honor the contract it signed in 2008.
2dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information