Aug. 1, 2017
CULVER, Indiana — The Notre Dame football team opened preparations for its 129th campaign on Tuesday afternoon at Culver Academies. It was the first of 22 practices before game week for the lid-lifter against Temple on Sept. 2.
The team and coaches all made the trek south down U.S. 31 on Tuesday morning, with the players arriving around 9 a.m. After moving into dorm rooms and grabbing lunch, meetings took place until the squad took the field just before 1 p.m. for the first practice.
The first practice of the season was in shorts and helmets as part of the NCAA-mandated four acclimatization days prior to teams being allowed to wear pads. In addition, the NCAA has eliminated two-a-day practices and mandated one day off per week during preseason camp.
The team fought through a sweltering afternoon that saw the heat index approach 90 degrees. WatchND has the highlights of day one, in addition to head coach Brian Kelly’s comments to the media following practice.
- Notre Dame photographer Mike Bennett is entering his 35th football season with the Irish.
- The Irish players have air conditioned dorm rooms at Culver for the first time in the last four seasons of camp at the Academies. Infamously in 1995, with a heat index over 100 degrees and the players with no air conditioning, many of the upperclassmen escaped the barracks for the hallways of the hockey rink to sleep. That group included current Notre Dame director of player development Ron Powlus.
- Practice number two is set for Wednesday, Aug. 2. Stay tuned to UND.com, as Fighting Irish Media will have exclusive coverage of the session.
— Barbie Jeffers (@barbiereif) August 1, 2017
Time to lock in for Practice #1 of the fall.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 1, 2017
— Tamara Brown (@NDSportsBlogger) July 31, 2017
Located 45 minutes south of the University of Notre Dame, Culver Academies features a 1,700-acre campus nestled on the north shore of Lake Maxinkuckee. Athletic facilities include a new athletic turf field, sod practice field, indoor/outdoor tennis complex, hockey rink with two sheets of ice, rowing facility with rowing tanks, team weight room, general fitness center, swimming pool, wrestling room, indoor track, racquetball courts, and five basketball/multipurpose courts.
Culver graduates have played/are playing for the Fighting Irish in fencing, football, hockey, men’s lacrosse, rowing, and softball. Others have played/are playing in the NHL, NFL, and Major League Lacrosse, and have represented the United States in the Winter and Summer Olympics.
Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne and Culver’s Bob Peck played for the Massilion Tigers in 1917. Rockne gave the dedication speech for the Culver Recreation Building in 1924. He also gave a pep talk to Peck’s team prior to the Eagles’ game against St. John’s Military Academy, which was played at Soldier Field on Nov. 8, 1930. Rockne (ND) and Peck (Pitt) are in the College Football Hall of Fame.
“I believe that the great value of athletics lies in keeping the student body physically fit. I know of no place, with the possible exception of the United States Military Academy, where the athletic program is handled as well or where they get the results that they do at Culver.” – Knute Rockne, University of Notre Dame Football Coach, at the dedication of the Culver Recreation Building April 21, 1924
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