ND's Kelly won't punish Neal for play

Notre Dame linebacker Kerry Neal appeared to stomp Navy slotback John Howell on the abdomen in his team's 35-17 loss on Saturday, but will face no punishment for the play.

A video clip of the play has gone viral on the Internet. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly briefly addressed it Tuesday at his news conference, saying he had seen it but did not think the play needed to be dealt with.

Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said in a phone interview Tuesday he saw the play when he reviewed the tape. Niumatalolo did not see it in real time.

"Football’s an emotional game. I’m sure he’s a great young man," Niumatalolo said. "He probably wishes it didn’t happen. That’s as far as I’ll go. Our guys have moved on."

Since the game, several articles have denounced Navy for using chop blocks, perpetuating the remark former assistant Corwin Brown made last year insinuating Navy was a dirty team. Brown was referring to a play that resulted in an injury to linebacker Brian Smith and was flagged.

Navy was called for no penalties this year against Notre Dame, and uses legal cut blocks, not chop blocks.

"The only problem I have is the verbiage of the chop block," Niumatalolo said. "Chop blocks are illegal. We cut block like every other team. Last year with our guy cutting behind the ball, I agreed it was a bad play. We told him that and we took him off the field. We don’t play like that. We don’t cut block people after the snap. It wasn’t Coach Kelly and his staff who were saying it. It was more the media and fans. I can’t really control how people think or what they say."