Notre Dame football seems to be looking to get back to campus sooner rather than later, which is exactly what Brian Kelly’s squad needs.
Toward the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the the initial lockdown Brian Kelly said that he felt that Notre Dame football players would need to be back on campus by July 1 to be prepared for the season to start on time. In his own words, that July 1 date is a “drop dead” date.
It would be better to be back by mid-June. Now, Notre Dame has that opportunity.
The NCAA has announced that their ban of on-campus workouts will end June 1st. With this has come a string of announcements of programs that will be returning to campus. This includes Indiana, Ohio State, and the entire SEC as of June 6th.
Now, being on campus by that June 1 date is unrealistic. There’s no way around that. A week isn’t enough notice to get players to campus. They’ll need a couple of weeks at least.
However, they shouldn’t take longer than a couple of weeks. Longer than that and other programs have a leg up on you. This goes beyond practice time, but it’s time to figure out how to keep players safe while on campus. It’s recovery time from summer practice. It’s time for players to properly learn the playbook.
Without this time Notre Dame will fall behind other programs. Now, this won’t affect the outcome of a game against Western Michigan or Arkansas. However, it could be a back breaker against Wisconsin. It matters when you play a team that is indisputably more athletic than you, like Clemson.
This isn’t to say that losing this practice time would ruin Notre Dame’s season. Everyone has already lost their spring practices. Many programs are going to lose large chunks of their summer practice. However, it would likely limit Notre Dame’s chances of having an exceptional season. It would limit their chances to make it to a major bowl game.
If the Irish can get back to campus as soon as possible they’ll give themselves the opportunity to have an exceptional season, and avoid playing in the Camping World Bowl again.