|Thursday, September 7|
Notre Dame won, but does it matter?
By Bob Harig
Special to ESPN.com
| They stopped the losing streak, but not the doubters. Notre Dame won Saturday, but won nobody over. A 24-10 victory over Texas A&M only postpones the inevitable.
Did it occur to Ron Dayne last fall while he was accepting free or heavily discounted merchandise from a shoe store outside of Madison, Wis., that what he was doing might have cost him the Heisman Trophy? That a similar arrangement knocked his chief competition for the award out of the race? What irony. A Wisconsin State Journal series led to the suspension of 26 players on this year's team. It came too late, however, to impact Dayne, now in the NFL. According to the newspaper, 81 players were involved, including Dayne, who was a frequent visitor to The Shoe Box. The store owner offered huge discounts to players and defended it by saying they were available to any Wisconsin student. But Dayne apparently was allowed to take items for free. Last year, Florida State's Peter Warrick was charged with a felony when it was reported that he paid a heavily-discounted price for merchandise at a department store. The difference, of course, is he did so in concert with a store clerk and not with the blessing of the owner. He was charged with a felony and suspended for two games before the charge was later changed to a misdemeanor. But his Heisman campaign was ruined. Different arena
A year ago, he led his team to an impressive victory over Ohio State in the season opener. This year, he was with the Orlando Rays of the AA Southern League when the Miami Hurricanes opened their season with a victory against McNeese State on Thursday. Kenny Kelly is no longer a quarterback. He's a baseball player. "My focus is on the curveball and not how to read a defense," said Kelly, who as part of his contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays got a Sept. 1 call-up to the major league roster. "What baseball offered was too good. I hope to become an all-star centerfielder for the Devil Rays in two or three years." Kelly said he didn't miss two-a-day practice, but "I'll never get football out of my blood. . . I'll always love the game. I'll be watching on the weekends. I might even go to a game or two." A Major decision
Texas coach Mack Brown figured the decision would be easy. Last year's starting quarterback, Major Applewhite, was coming off of knee surgery, making it easier to go with highly-touted sophomore Chris Simms, son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. But Applewhite is making it tough. Brown still has not picked a starter for next week's opener against Louisiana-Lafayette. "Major has been amazing," Brown said. "He's just so tough. ... With his rehabilitation and the great spring Chris had, there was a time when I thought we wouldn't have a question at quarterback at this point, but now we do. Major is just tough as nails, but he hasn't had bodies flying around his knees yet, because we don't allow that in practice." Mission statement
Kansas State fans are making popular a T-shirt that reads "Arrowhead to Arrowhead." The Wildcats opened their season with a 27-7 victory over Iowa in the Eddie Robinson Classic on Aug. 26 at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium -- which is also the site of the Dec. 2 Big 12 Conference championship game. The Wildcats, however, are headed toward a showdown with No. 1 Nebraska first. The two teams meet on Nov. 11. Bob Harig covers college football for the St. Petersburg Times and his weekly recap appears every Sunday.
Battle golden in Notre Dame victory