College Football: ND coach Brian Kelly looking at all sides of a players’ union
By LaMond Pope firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-2691 Twitter: @lamondpope March 29, 2014 9:48PM
Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly discusses the start of spring football practice sessions Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Greg Swiercz) ORG XMIT: INSBE101
Updated: May 1, 2014 7:23AM
SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly hasn’t thought of a players’ union in the terms of whether it would be a positive or a detriment to college football.
“I look at it more in a kind of microcosm,” Kelly said Saturday. “Do they tax your scholarship? I looked at it that way, not in the bigger-picture sense.”
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled that Northwestern football players are employees and could vote to unionize. Northwestern plans to appeal.
Kelly said he isn’t at the point where he’ll meet with the team to discuss the pluses or minuses of putting a union together.
“We would respect anything that our players would want to do relative to their creativity, their ability to want to talk about things of that nature,” Kelly said.
“That’s one of the great things about being in a university setting, you are never going to squash or hold students back from that kind of dialogue.”
Linebacker Jarrett Grace had surgery Friday to place a rod in his injured right leg.
Grace had 40 tackles before suffering the season-ending injury Oct. 5 against Arizona State.
“If he went in there and there was instability in the four breaks, I’d think there’d have been some concern as to whether he could make it back for the fall,” Kelly said. “But the indication is that he had great growth there. The rod is for stabilization, and we’ll know in six weeks. If he heals the way he did prior to, there is great optimism that in six weeks we’ll see on the X-rays and scans that he’ll be ready for the fall.”
The next step
Safety Max Redfield was one of the prized recruits for the Class of 2013. He cracked the starting lineup for the first time in the Pinstripe Bowl and made two tackles in the victory over Rutgers.
“It was finally this ‘ah’ moment, like I finally broke through the barrier and got a start under my belt, which I was obviously happy about,” Redfield said. “It was great. I had a lot of fun in the game.”
Redfield played in 12 games and made 12 tackles.
“I feel like knowing what the speed is like somewhat, obviously Rutgers isn’t going to be the same as Florida State, and I understand that and I know I need to make tons of improvements from there until we get into the next season,” he said. “It was great to get that start under my belt. I was really thankful for that and I feel like I’ve been growing every since.”