The news every Fighting Irish fan was waiting for became public at a packed press conference yesterday in South Bend, carried live on sports cable.
Michael Floyd is back for the season opener, his drunk driving conviction effectively set aside
As if there was ever any doubt.
You are talking about the best wide receiver to don the Blue and Gold -- ever.
No way was Brian Kelly going to leave him on the sidelines.
Kelly's greatest gift this season was Floyd's decision to come back for his final year and not go with the pros.
That was all put in doubt by yet another drink related infraction his third in three years..
Brian Kelly played the suspense game for the last few months, but made it about as suspenseful as a chase between a cat and a one legged mouse.
Simply put Notre Dame without Floyd this season has no hope of a Top Ten finish and the massive national profile that goes with that
Kelly being Kelly used exactly the right kind of forgiveness,second chance language.
“Michael has to continue to make good decisions,” Kelly said. “We haven’t reached a destination point. Mike know he’s got all eyes on him. There’s an intense amount of scrutiny. There’s cynics out there who look at this as we had this put together since day one.
“We can’t change what people think, but we try to make good decisions based on the patterns that we’ve seen. And I trust Michael, based upon what I’ve seen over the past 4½ months. I expect that trust to build.”“It wasn’t just my own personal evaluation,” Kelly said “Having been in (head coaching) for 21 years, it was my gut feeling whether to take a chance on a young man, because you can’t save everybody.
“I’ve had scenarios where young men just don’t learn, and it’s unfortunate. But it is what it is. I really felt with Mike that he had made a life-changing decision. So that was a gut feeling on my part. And then there were other observations from people who were a lot closer to him on a more consistent basis. All of this, in its totality, led me to the decision that I made reinstating him."
Now with Floyd the sky's the limit
Kelly was asked if his stated policy of zero tolerance for alcohol abuse had fallen by the wayside like a drunken sinner.
“I don’t know that I spend any time thinking about that,” ,
“I’m always half full, and not half empty, when it comes to thinking in those terms.”
Floyd too played the penitent role
“I think it starts off with just making better choices, thinking before I do,” he said. “I think that’s what I need to do to - move forward. And I think it’ll keep me on a positive track and keep me doing the right things.”
“I’ve changed the friends I hang out with,” Floyd offered. “That’s an important step for me, having guys around me who are all positive and who stay out of trouble and who are good decision-makers. That’s what I’m doing now.”
What he is doing is getting a chance at history courtesy of a lenient and perfectly understandable decision by Coach Kelly to find a way to play his best player.
Starting September 3rd Michale Floyd will surely repay that second chance by Kelly.