Brady Quinn Destroys Lazy Hot Take on Notre Dame Academics by Fox Analyst

Brady Quinn hasn’t thrown a pass for Notre Dame in over a decade but he threw some verbal blows at Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt for regurgitating a tired, lazy narrative on academics at impacting Notre Dame recruiting.  Quinn was on Fox Sports Radio Sunday night when he defended Notre Dame and lit into Klatt’s tired “hot take”.

If you haven’t heard the entire segment, we have it embedded below. (If you can’t listen first, scroll down for the Cliff’s Notes version)

Background: (feel fell to scroll if you can’t listen).  Basically, Charlie Weis was on The Herd with Colin Cowherd and talked about some of the challenges at Notre Dame.  Weis simply stated that it’s different recruiting at Notre Dame than most places.  He’s right.  It is.  And he stated that academics can get in the way.  Newsflash.  They do from time to time.  Klatt, however, didn’t want to hear it and decided to go on a rant about academics at Notre Dame and how the US News College and University rankings don’t back it up.

And that is where Brady Quinn came in and came in guns blazing.  What made it even better was that while Quinn came in guns blazing, he did it eloquently and intelligently.

As Quinn pointed out, when did the US News report on top schools have any correlation to the academic requirements for football players at those same universities?  Quinn was recruited by many of the top programs in the country and knows first hand that the admissions process is tougher at Notre Dame than many other prominent programs in the country.

Quinn clearly did his homework for this interview and came in really prepared.  Not only did Quinn shoot down Klatt’s argument, but he even pointed out that Klatt’s top 5 quarterbacks for 2017 omitted the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Well done Brady, well done.


While academics are not THE reason Notre Dame has struggled on the field, it is kind of ridiculous to suggest that Notre Dame – along with a few other institutions – don’t hold their players to higher academic standards than most other schools including some of those prestigious schools list in the US News report.

At Notre Dame the starting quarterback on a team that just went to the national championship gets kicked off the team for cheating on a test.   At Notre Dame, a player like Alize Mack misses his entire sophomore year because he failed to meet Notre Dame’s academic standards.  Not the NCAA’s mind you, but Notre Dame’s.

Many schools would sweep an incident like Everett Golson’s in 2013 under the rug and no one would have ever heard about it.  Many schools would have played Mack last year as long as he was eligible by NCAA standards and nothing more.  That’s not the way Notre Dame handles their business.

That doesn’t even touch on the smaller recruiting pool that a place like Notre Dame or Stanford recruits from.  For Klatt to suggest that isn’t true is flat out ridiculous and simply ignorant.  It is an undeniable fact that there are numerous top 100 recruits every year that Notre Dame can’t recruit because they can’t get into school.

Now, all of this does not mean that academics are a reason that Notre Dame was 4-8 last year or the reason they’ve struggled over the last 20 years.  Notre Dame can and should be winning more games than they are even with their own higher academic standards.  At th the same time, as Quinn pointed out, while there are other schools with higher academic standards than others, which of them was the last to play for a national championship? Notre Dame just five years ago.

Notre Dame is proving this year for instance that they can still recruit at a very high level.  To suggest it’s not harder to do that at Notre Dame than say your standard SEC school though is lazy analysis.

Brady Quinn might not have had the NFL career many hoped he would, but he is starting to really develop as an analyst and commentator.  He also clearly still has a deep love of his alma mater and will not stand by while other analysts use Notre Dame just for a “hot take”.

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  1. Some numbers for the discussion

    ND Under Kelly-59-31 since 2010 one championship game
    Stanford Under Shaw 64-17 since 2011(under harbaugh 29-21)
    Duke under cutliffe 52-61 since 2008 -4-8
    Vandy since 2010-39 wins


    Academic Rankings-US News

    FOOTBALL-highest value per forbes
    No mention

    fan support
    nd every game sold.out since 1966 but one 80795
    Stanford attendance decreased in 2016 44142

    BK makes less for a program that not only has been competitive in 7/8 seasons, but remains top 15 academically

  2. As Southside suggested it’s the curriculum and course load that is more the issue than admission requirements. Some kids just don’t want to work hard in the classroom and at football.

  3. Reggie Bush wanted to go to ND. The standout recruit from San Diego — was informed by Irish recruiters to improve is high school GPA required for admission. He did so—but when finding out he had to to take the freshmen course load like any other lay incoming students—he opted out. He went to USC where freshmen course load was easier. Not sure when his parents came into play with a USC booster giving DAD/MOM a new house paid for. Apparently the scandal broke after Bush’s career at USC and winning the Heisman Trophy. Of course USC coach Pete Carroll left USC to NFL Seattle SeaHawks. Notre Dame is all about “Student Athletes” not “Athletes Students”. With the addition of “ARA” name on helmets of 2017 squad — “Wake up the echoes and Shake down the Thunder ” will leap frog the Irish to the play offs. “We will defeat our enemy from land , sea and air.” Winston Churchill.

  4. Love hearing on Fox Sports Radio this morning the advertisement commercials saying that “Brady Quinn curb stomped Klatt” hahahaha!!!!

  5. you gotta love Brady Quinn. so right. it takes a kid making a 40-year decision with good advisors around him to go to Stanford, Vandy, Northwestern or ND… so logical… but fun that Joel whatever stirs it up that’s his job…

    1. only good point he made was that the academic standards are no excuse for 4-8 last year. true enough. as soon as the NFL has farm teams like baseball all the high schoolers that want to avoid college and go directly to the NFL will be able to do that and each year the ‘final four’ in football will be ND, Stanford, Vandy, NU and schools with high academic standards.

      1. Vanderbilt guy,
        No, then they will all go to Kentucky for one year and Kentucky will be in the playoffs.

        Bruce G. Curme
        La Crosse, Indiana

  6. As an outsider who is very familiar with the culture at Notre Dame (I have a parent who was on the faculty there) what bothers me the most about that school is that they claim to be such an outstanding academic institution, but yet they’re always chasing other programs. They’re always following, never innovating, and never leading.

    Another point that doesn’t get brought up is that the Notre Dame football brand is the second largest in revenue behind only Texas and is on par with Alabama. Notre Dame football is literally one of the two or three wealthiest and most valuable college football programs and they can’t win a true road game. So what if you have tougher academic requirements if you have more money than virtually any program in college football.

    Klatt has actually defended Notre Dame in the past. He is/was fairly complementary to ND (stating ND is a better job than LSU) and he honestly struck me as a bit of a casual fan. He’s stated Notre Dame footballshould be better than what they’ve been the last 25 years and he is absolutely correct.

    All this said I’ll still probably shell out $ and go to theGeorgia game because that’s the sucker I am.

    1. Yes ND should have won more games than they did the past 25 years.
      Yes ND is always trying to be the Harvard of the Midwest instead of trying to be the Notre Dame of the world, and it drives me crazy.
      Yes, ND makes a lot of money off football, much of which goes into the general fund, goes for financial aid, and fully funds the other sports that are revenue losers.


      Everyone who is literate on college sports knows the truth about ND, Stanford, Northwestern, Navy, probably Vanderbilt and some others. I firmly believe that. So use your privileged speaking platform to tell the truth, not to “stir the pot”.

      Thank you,
      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

  7. Boom, roasted…

    Job well done, Brady!!!

    And George, that is just stupid to say because that wasn’t even the topic.

  8. Quinn does an incredible job explaining why ND won four games last year, including losses to Navy, Duke, a 3 win MSU team, and a Texas team that canned their coach.

      1. Not at all. The topic pertains to how the university makes it very difficult for its football team to win games. Last year’s 4-8 record couldn’t possibly be more relevant here.

  9. Im a Domer. Klatt was correct. Stanford and Duke are much better institutiins academically than ND and yet bith have winning sports programs. Same as UCLA. So why does ND have a harder time recruting? Its all about the Black athletes and many of these dont wany to go to uncool nerville ND. Sorry but the truth hurts.

    1. James,

      ND doesn’t have “winning sports programs”? Really? Did I not see ND men’s and women’s basketball teams in their respective post-season tournaments? Did I not see ND hockey in the Frozen Four? Was the lacrosse team not highly ranked? Your assessment of the state of ND sports is way off which makes me think you aren’t an ND guy at all.
      UCLA is most certainly not a …”much better institutiin”(sic).
      Your comment about African-American athletes suggest that you are a buffoon. Sorry, but the truth hurts.

    2. James Smith – Is you poor english and spelling purposeful? I came in a little late on this discussion.

  10. I think Brady’s response misrepresent’s what Klatt was saying. He didn’t deny that Notre Dame had significantly higher standards than other schools, but that those standards aren’t an excuse for subpart performance. He said Charlie Weis’ argument doesn’t hold because of his failure at Kansas. Furthermore, there’s the example of Stanford which also holds their student athletes to a high academic standard, and has been consistently successful over the past 10 years or so. He wasn’t saying it isn’t harder to win there, he was just saying it’s no excuse for not winning.

    1. Well, he also said that Weis was excusing his poor performance with the difficulty recruiting, and suggested that Brian Kelly was doing the same thing, and that Notre Dame made a habit of it. He then compared the recruiting at Notre Dame to several schools, not just Stanford, and then mentioned that all of those schools had better records than Notre Dame. So yeah, I’m going to say that he did indeed “deny that Notre Dame had significantly higher standards than other schools.”

    2. So you’re saying that Quinn’s point was that it IS an excuse for not winning. Yeah, I kind of agree. Quinn’s message was not exactly hopeful. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel there. He’s saying it is extra difficult to win at ND – period. That’s not a good thing here, folks.

      1. I don’t think anyone has a dispute with Klatt about high academic standards not being an excuse for lousy coaching in the case of Weis, and lousy recruiting in the case of Coach Ty, but I don’t want to speak for others.

        My father (God bless his soul) taught Inferential Statistics at ND for twenty years and by every account I’ve ever heard, taught it very well. He had a number of terms to describe men who used data and statistics improperly and deceptively with the purpose of supporting their positions, or the positions of their employers, and “lazy” wasn’t one of terms.
        Remember the old adage…”If you torture the data hard enough, it will confess to anything.” That is my main problem with Mr. Klatt.

  11. There probably can not be a better rebuttal than Brady Quinn just had here. A commitment to the standards of Notre Dame begin well before a student enrolls at Notre Dame. Brady Quinn using his own personal experience about meeting Notre Dame’s standards makes the former argument made by Klatt very underwhelming with his US News source. Then Quinn adds more personal experience about the rigorous work load for any Notre Dame student. I love how Quinn added how some Notre Dame football players are just trying to survive the academics. It really takes a mature person to have the character to excel as a student-athlete at Notre Dame. For Joe Klatt, I’m sure you will try to counter Quinn, unless you can provide a personal experience as indepth as Quinn’s experience, you will have no merit on your “academics don’t matter take” on Notre Dame.

    1. When I was a student at ND (72-77), I used to wonder how those guys on the team could do it! I mean I needed every moment of the day for reading and study just to get by. I had (and have) enormous respect for those guys (and gals if you count the cheerleaders and the band people). I still wonder how they could do it! They are awesome people – some of the best this society cranks out. It’s just that simple…and they can’t take “Ball Room Dancing” or “Introduction to College Football” or major in PE. They are the real deal…and if coached properly, they will win. That’s the truth people.

      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

    2. I don’t think he’s going to try to counter Quinn. He kind of doesn’t have a leg to stand on. If I were Klatt, I’d take back what I said and try to narrow down my point. But I suspect Klatt will just ignore it.

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