Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly wants this season to be all about football

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly has one ambition for this season: 'I think if we can just get back to football at Notre Dame,' Kelly told The New York Times this week.

'Developing players and talking about your football team. That is what this program has needed, instead of everything that goes on outside of it.'

Kelly was referring to the dramatic and sometimes shocking developments off field that have taxed the team and Kelly's stewardship.

The death of Declan Sullivan, a young student who fell from a tower in high winds while filming a practice was one sad incident last season; then a freshman at nearby St. Mary’s College committed suicide after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexual battery; then another controversy erupted after Kelly’s decision to reinstate the star receiver Michael Floyd after his March arrest for drunken driving.

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But Kelly believes that despite setbacks on and off the field his players are still strong enough to compete for the national title and his goal is for the Irish to win a championship, which they have not done since 1988.