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”.