Friday, August 6, 2010

1. ESPN.com finished its House of Pain top 50 listing of painful college upsets – and Notre Dame appeared twice in the top 10. The 41-39 Irish loss to Boston College in 1993 rated 10th – while Notre Dame’s 24-23 win in the ’73 Sugar Bowl over unbeaten Alabama ranked number six.

2. Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly held court with the media at noon today prior to his team opening fall practice on Saturday afternoon. Kelly was so efficient with his answers, he finished by utilizing only 35 of the allotted 45 minutes. Here are some tidbits from his remarks:

  • On the interest level: “We were ready to go about two weeks ago. We’re very excited to get to work. We’ve had enough talk. Now it’s about doing it. With our schedule we get challenged every week. Our players so badly want to be successful.”
  • On strengths, he talked about depth on the offensive line (“we have 10 guys who can play at a championship level”) and running back, plus defensive perimeter playmakers.
  • On vulnerabilities, he mentioned experience at quarterback and depth on the defensive line.
  • On question marks, he mentioned consistency of performance with the back end of the defense and with the kicking game.
  • On depth: “You will see a lot of players. Don’t get married to the depth chart.”
  • On summer progress: “We’re a different team than April.”
  • On his off the field assignments: “You’re an ambassador for the University. I probably made 150-160 appearances. That’s what’s required. The other thing is to win football games. We’ve got a passionate following, and as a football coach it doesn’t get any better than that. We’re here to win and they all know that.”
  • On measurable physical improvements, Kelly said Chris Stewart at 362 pounds went from doing two to three chin-ups when he arrived to 23 now. Plus Stewart’s body fat is down four percent. Ian Williams went from 302 to 313, dropped his body fat and now does a 600 squat (he was at 485). Ethan Johnson now does a 550 squat, up from 395. “That means they have a stronger base and they won’t be on the ground.”
  • On other impressive freshmen Bennett Jackson and Austin Collinsworth: “They are in the mix to get on the bus.”
  • On tradition: “We lacked an understanding of who were were. We are the Fighting Irish. We play hard for four quarters. There’s a tradition of playing anyone, anytime, anywhere. We talk about what our tradition is every day. We need to get that toughness back.”
  • On being here eight months: “We haven’t won a football game, yet so the jury’s still out on that one. That’s a huge part of it.”
  • On Ara Parseghian: “It’s impressive to hear how Ara regards Notre Dame and what it means to his family. He’s got a keen sense of the game and a love and passion for Notre Dame.”
  • On the defense: “We need to be about consistently stopping the run by our physicalness and sure tackling. We need to be able to hold up inside out.”
  • On expected position battles, he noted inside linebacker, the offensive line and safety.
  • On what he expects out of himself: “Attention to detail and communication of what we want to accomplish.”
  • On the future: “I took this job and we’re not going anywhere. I hope to be here the rest of my life. It’s all about getting us to the top echelon immediately and we’re going at it right away.”
  • On philosophy: “We have to be able to run the football. We’ve got four backs with different styles to complement the offense.”
  • On Dayne Crist’s development: “We’ve taken away the uncertainty about the knee. Now we get to work on specific fundamentals. We’ve got to be smart about using him. We can’t run him 22 or 223 times. But we can’t play scared either. We’re cognizant that we’re inexperienced when it comes to the next man in.”
Thursday, August 5, 2010

1. Former Irish star, Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown will serve as the color commentator for ESPN’s 3-D broadcasts of college football. The network’s new 3-D channel will air 13 college football games this season, including the BCS Championship. The 3-D telecasts use different cameras and announcers from the regular ESPN productions. Brown won the Heisman in 1987 for Notre Dame. The wide receiver played 16 seasons in the NFL. He’ll work alongside play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore.

2. Notre Dame assistant athletics director/athletics media relations director Bernie Cafarelli has been named to the BIG EAST Academic Affairs Committee for a three-year term.

3. Texas today announced four future football games to be played against Notre Dame. The series will kickoff with Texas traveling to South Bend on Sept. 5, 2015. Notre Dame is slated to head to Austin on Sept. 3, 2016, and again on Aug. 31, 2019. The Longhorns return to South Bend on Sept. 12, 2020.

4. Look for updated mobile applications for und.com in the next month. July Systems is updating the mobile Web portal that will provide live scoring, headlines, schedules, bios and rosters. Orb Networks is updating the iPhone app that will feature better display for scores and schedules, a new ad platform and a “freemium” model that will involve a baseline app with news, schedules, and VOD with an in-app purchase to upgrade to live audio and scoring. Polar Mobile is updating the Mobile GameTracker that will feature news, rankings, schedules and live scoring (available on BlackBerry and Android).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1. Season tickets for the 2010-11 Notre Dame hockey schedule and the final season at the Joyce Center went on sale today through the Notre Dame ticket office and are available in full-season packages with prices starting at $212 and $107 for youth and seniors. Now is the time to be a full-season ticket holder, as multi-year purchasers receive priority seat assignments in the new Notre Dame Ice Arena scheduled to open for the start of the 2011-12 season. There is no increase in ticket prices this season, as the per-game price will remain the same as last year. The Irish open the new season Oct. 3 with an exhibition contest versus Guelph at the Joyce Center. The home opener is Thursday, Oct. 14, as the Irish play host to Lake Superior State in a two-game series. The remainder of the regular-season home schedule features games with Boston College (1), Western Michigan (two single games), Michigan State (2), Northern Michigan (2), Canisius (1), Alaska (2), Miami (2) and Bowling Green (2). Ticket packages also include potential first or second round CCHA playoff tickets. Multi-year full-season ticket holders will receive priority seat assignments in the new arena and a 10% discount on tickets over individual game prices this year. They are also guaranteed seats for premium games like Boston College and the Michigan State and Miami series. Season ticket holders also receive free admission to the Guelph preseason game and the exclusive pre-game reception, a complimentary white long sleeve t-shirt, e-newsletters and a second season ticket holder appreciation reception later in the season. For fans that can’t make it to every “Hockey Night in South Bend,” just pick your night and the Irish have a package to meet your requirements!!! Pick the Blue Night or the Gold Night packages that are nine-game packages, including free admission to the Guelph preseason game, plus potential playoff games with prices starting at $130 for adults and $65 for seniors and youth. The Blue Night package is made up of Thursday, Saturday and Sunday games and includes Guelph, Lake Superior, Boston College, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Alaska, Miami, Bowling Green, and Western Michigan. The Gold Night package includes games on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday’s with Guelph, Lake Superior, Western Michigan, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Canisius, Alaska, Miami, Bowling Green as part of the package along with all home playoff action. Don’t get left out in the cold this winter!!! Last season, the Irish sold out 14 of 18 home games, including the final seven consecutive games and averaged over 2,700 fans per contest. Over the last two seasons, Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 23 of the last 27 home games.

2. Another season of Fighting Irish Football is right around the corner, so mark your calendars to participate in the Monogram Club’s annual pre-game football tunnels! The tunnel for football Monogram winners/managers is set for the Sept. 11 game against Michigan. Unlike in past years, due to heightened security, walk-up registration for the tunnel is no longer allowed. To participate, you must register online or via phone. To register via phone, contact Mike Sullivan at (574) 631-2909. Check-in on Sept. 11 for those members who have pre-registered for the tunnel will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Monogram Room in the Joyce Center, as the game is set for a 3:30 p.m. kick off. To conclude the home schedule on Nov. 13, dues-paying Monogram Club members from all sports will form the on-field tunnel prior to the game against the Utah Utes. As mentioned above, walk-up registration for the tunnel is no longer allowed. To participate, you must register online or via phone. To complete an on-line registration form for the pre-game tunnel vs. Utah, please click here. To register via phone, contact Mike Sullivan at (574) 631-2909. Check-in on Nov. 13 for those dues-paying members who have pre-registered for the tunnel will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the Monogram Room in the Joyce Center, as the game is set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. In addition to the annual tunnel, don’t forget about the Monogram Club events held during every 2010 home football weekend. All dues-paying Monogram winners may invite up to five guests to the pre-game reception that begins three hours prior to kickoff in the Monogram Room. Food is provided at the reception along with a cash bar, and a membership card is required to enter the event. The Club also hosts a post-game Mass following each game in the Monogram Room. Mass begins 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game and is led by athletics department chaplain Rev. Paul Doyle C.S.C. ’65.

3. Former Irish great Luke Harangody paid a visit to the Notre Dame campus for the first time since being chosen in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Harangody helped head coach Mike Brey close out his basketball camp July 28 as he spoke to campers about his experiences at Notre Dame, both on and off the basketball court, and the importance of getting his degree. Harangody, who graduated in May with a degree in American Studies and computer applications, averaged 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds during the team’s summer league games in Orlando, Fla., in early July.

4. Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior), a rising sophomore on the Notre Dame men’s soccer team, was part of the United States Under-20 national squad that captured the Milk Cup Elite Section title on Friday with a 3-0 triumph of host country Northern Ireland – and in the process he earned MVP honors. The U.S. used goals in the 24th minute (Gale Agbossoumonde), 43rd minute (Juan Agudelo) and 68th minute (Adrian Ruelas) to top Northern Ireland in the final of the Milk Cup, which is an international youth soccer tournament held annually in Northern Ireland. Powers, a midfielder, started the match before being subbed out in the 88th minute. For the tournament, Powers earned a start in two of the three matches in helping the U.S. to a perfect 3-0 record. The Americans opened tournament play with a 1-0 win over China on July 26 and followed that up with a 3-2 triumph of Denmark on July 28. Powers came off the bench in the 46th minute against China and started the Denmark match. Denmark placed third in the six-team Milk Cup Elite Section, while Mexico was fourth. Japan was fifth and China finished in sixth place. Prior to Friday’s victory, the U.S. last won the Milk Cup title in 2005. Last September, Powers was part of the U.S. team that competed at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Powers returned to the Irish following the tournament and earned BIG EAST All-Rookie honors. His five assists were the second most of any Notre Dame player during the 2009 campaign.

5. Two Notre Dame student-athletes garnered a prominent place in the summer 2010 issue of the NCAA Champion magazine, which recently was published. Senior football offensive lineman Chris Stewart (Spring, Texas) and senior men’s basketball forward Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) were featured on page 16 of the magazine for their academic and athletic accomplishments, with both men recently having earned their undergraduate degrees from Notre Dame in less than four years despite rigorous time demands with the respective teams. Stewart, who has started the past 22 games for the Fighting Irish, earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the College of Arts and Letters and will attend Notre Dame Law School this fall. He is believed to be the first active Fighting Irish football player ever to attend the law school. Meanwhile, Abromaitis, an ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-American, BIG EAST Conference Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and an honorable mention all-conference selection last year, graduated in three years from the Mendoza College of Business with a degree in finance. He now is enrolled in an accelerated MBA program that will run through May 2011.

6. On July 25, Irish football coach Brian Kelly made a traditional appearance by the Notre Dame head football coach at the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field to throw out the first pitch and sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch.

7. Notre Dame head men’s golf coach Jim Kubinski announced Friday the team will take part in 13 tournaments during the 2010-11 campaign. The Irish will travel from coast to coast, playing in nine different states over the course of action, including playing host to the fifth annual Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic Sept. 27-28 at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course. Notre Dame will kick off its season at the College of Charleston Invite on Sept. 13-14 in Kiawah Island, S.C. at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. It will mark the first time that the Irish will take part in the tournament. Next the Irish will play in the first of two home events on the season, as the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic takes place Sept. 27-28 at the Warren Golf Course. It will be the fifth time that Notre Dame has played host to the event. Last season, the Irish captured medalist honors in both the team and individual competitions for the first time since the inception of the tournament. Josh Sandman (70-68-74=212) brought home the individual crown at two-over par, while the Irish team fired a three-day 30-over par total (870) for the four-shot victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Notre Dame will then play in three tournaments over the month of October, including a pair of first-time appearances at the Firestone Invitational (Oct. 11-12) hosted by the University of Akron at Firestone Golf Club, and the Lone Star Invitational (Oct. 17-18) put on by the University of Texas-San Antonio at Briggs Ranch Golf Club. The month ends with the team competing in the Saint Mary’s Invitational in Carmel, Calif. at the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Clubs. It will mark the second time the Irish have participated in the event, earning a seventh-place finish (out of 17 teams) in the ’08-09 season.

Spring action will get underway with the second annual The Match Play on Feb. 10-12 from TPC of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla. Notre Dame took runner-up in the inaugural season of the event, falling to Louisville in the finals. The month of March will feature three more tournaments for the Irish, opening with the Alumni Match Weekend at the Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale Ariz. on Mar. 4-6. The team will then head further west as they take part in the San Diego Intercollegiate at the San Diego Country Club on Mar. 14-15, marking the first time the Irish have competed in the tournament. Closing out the month will be a familiar event for the Irish, the Schenkel Invitational, taking place at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. on Mar. 18-20. For the third time in the past four season the Irish will play in the Georgia Southern hosted event, with a 12th-place result in the ’07-08 season marking the squads best finish. Four April tournaments will wrap up the team’s regular season starting with an appearance at the LSU Invitational at The University Club at Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, La. on April 1-3. The Irish will then return home for their second home event, taking to the Warren Golf Course for the one-day Battle at the Warren tournament on April 13. BIG EAST Tournament play will follow from April 17-19 at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla. Last season the Irish staked claim to second place at the tournament carding a three-day 874 (+22), missing out on first by one stroke to Georgetown. Notre Dame will conclude its season at the Boilermaker Invitational at the Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind. on April 23-24, marking the teams return to the event for the first time since the ’06-07 year.

8. The long wait endured by the Notre Dame football coaches and players in anticipation of the start of the 2010 season will soon be over. The Irish hit the practice field to begin their 2010 Fall Camp Saturday, with the first workout slated to begin at 3:00 p.m. ET. Head coach Brian Kelly, along with offensive coordinator Charley Molnar and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, will meet with the media on Friday, Aug. 6, beginning with a press conference from Coach Kelly at 12 noon ET. Und.com will have exclusive live coverage of the media activities on Friday, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET as Jack Nolan and former Irish All-America RB Reggie Brooks provide a preview of fall camp. Nolan and Brooks will lead into Coach Kelly’s press conference, followed by live coverage of Diaco and Molnar’s meeting with the media as well. Und.com will also have an exclusive live one-on-one interview with Coach Kelly.

9. Notre Dame sophomore guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) is among a group of 25 players who have been named to the 2010-11 preseason “Wade Watch” list for the State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year, it was announced today by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Diggins becomes the sixth Fighting Irish player named to the “Wade Watch” list in the past eight seasons, and the third in the past four years, following in the recent footsteps of Charel Allen (2007-08) and Lindsay Schrader (2009-10). As a freshman in ’09-10, Diggins was an Associated Press and State Farm Coaches’ honorable mention All-America choice, in addition to earning second-team all-BIG EAST plaudits and a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. Those honors came following one of the finest rookie seasons in the 33-year history of Fighting Irish women’s basketball, with Diggins becoming the first freshman in 17 seasons to lead Notre Dame in scoring and the first Fighting Irish rookie in 16 years to top 100 assists in her debut season. What’s more, she finished as just the third player in program history (and the first freshman) to log 400 points, 100 assists and 75 steals in a single season, joining a pair of All-Americans and Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (top senior in the nation 5-foot-8 and under) recipients — current Notre Dame assistant coach Niele Ivey (2000-01) and Megan Duffy (2004-05) — in achieving that distinction. Diggins led Notre Dame in scoring (13.9 ppg.), steals (2.6 spg.) and assists (tied – 3.2 apg.) last season, while ranking third on the squad in three-point percentage (.350) and free throw percentage (.782). She also chalked up a team-high 24 double-digit scoring games, including seven 20-point outings, capped by a season-high 31 points against Vermont in the second round of the NCAA Championship at Purcell Pavilion. That scoring effort was the highest ever recorded by a Fighting Irish rookie in NCAA postseason play, while her 13 field goals made tied the program record for an NCAA tournament game. Diggins is one of just four sophomores on the 2010-11 preseason “Wade Watch” list, along with Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Brittney Griner (Baylor) and Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown). Collectively, the BIG EAST Conference and the Southeastern Conference had the most players selected for the list with four each — Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes and Maya Moore (the 2009 and 2010 State Farm Wade Trophy recipient) join Diggins and Rodgers in representing the BIG EAST. The renowned “Wade Watch” list for the State Farm Wade Trophy is comprised of student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability. The “Wade Watch” list will be narrowed down to 12 finalists in mid-March. The 2011 State Farm Wade Trophy recipient officially will be announced at the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four, in Indianapolis.

10. Notre Dame sophomore right wing Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. The announcement was made Tuesday evening. Per club policy, no terms of the deal were disclosed. The 19-year old Palmieri played just one season at Notre Dame as he tied for first among freshmen in scoring last season with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points. He was whistled for 18 penalties for 36 minutes and had five power-play goals and a pair of game winners during 2009-10. His nine goals tied for second on the team in that department. The 5-11, 195-pound forward is currently participating in the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in hopes of making the roster for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships that will be held in Buffalo, N.Y., at the end of December. Palmieri was a member of the gold-medal winning Junior National Team in 2010. A first-round selection of Anaheim’s (26th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Palmieri had a goal and eight assists for nine points in seven games for Team USA in last year’s tournament to finish third in scoring and second in assists. A product of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program, he spent two seasons with the program from 2007-09. With the Under-18 Team in `08-’09, Palmieri had 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points, including four game-winning goals. The previous year, with the Under-17 team, he was second in goals and fourth in points with 20 goals and 10 assists for 30 points. He helped the U.S. to a bronze medal at the Under-18 World Championships and a gold at the 2008 Five Nations Tournament. Palmieri joins former Irish defensemen Ian Cole (St. Louis Blues) and Teddy Ruth (Columbus Blue Jackets) as Notre Dame players to leave before graduating. Cole and Ruth signed with their respective teams following last season. Palmieri and Cole were both first round draft choices with Cole being chosen 18th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

11. Irish football coach Brian Kelly on Monday did a photo shoot for a future story in ESPN The Magazine and also did a series of interviews with ESPN’s Jen Brown that will air on SportsCenter, GameDay and College Football Live.

12. Purcell Pavilion is loaded with heavy machinery installing a new sound system near the ceiling of the building.

13. The superstructure for the Olympic-sized rink of Notre Dame’s new ice arena is now in full view.

14. NBC Sports announced Tuesday night that Mike Mayock, formerly of the NFL Network, will replace Pat Haden (he’s the new athletics director at USC) as analyst on Notre Dame home football game telecasts.

15. ESPN.com is running a series called the House of Pain in which it rates the top 50 most painful upsets in the history of college football. So far, Notre Dame has appeared three times — #46 was the USC 34-31 win over the Irish in 2005, #40 was USC’s 20-17 win in 1964 and #37 was Notre Dame’s 31-30 win over Miami in 1988. Still to come Thursday and Friday are the top 20 results.

16. The Daily Dish has been taking a break in recent weeks while enjoying Cotuit-Bourne action from the Cape Cod Baseball League, in addition to Irish hurling from Croke Park in Dublin (in the All-Ireland Senior quarterfinals, Tipperary defeated Galway and Cork disposed of Antrim).

17. The Naval Academy has yet to decide on a Dublin, Ireland, site for the 2012 football game between the Irish and Mids. It could be Croke Park (capacity 82,000 and home to Gaelic Athletic Association events) or the brand-new Aviva Stadium (formerly known as Landsdowne, it just re-opened last Saturday with a 50,000 capacity).