Earlier this year in late May, Notre Dame Quarterback Everett Golson learned that he would be removed from the football team and expelled from The University for a semester due to cheating on a test in some fashion. Coming fresh off of a BCS Championship Game birth (and eventual 42-14 loss to Alabama) the news was quite devastating for the Irish faithful, as there were high hopes for this 2013 season with a matured Golson at the helm of a Notre Dame team that had shown rapid improvement from recent seasons.
In an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples for this upcoming week’s edition of SI, Golson opens up a bit about his ill-timed lapse of judgment and confirms that it was indeed cheating on a test that landed him out of the celebrated situation he was comfortably settled into. But while it is pointed out by Staples that Everett could have temporarily went to a Junior College or transferred to another school, Golson clarifies that even through the chaos that surrounded his expulsion, he never considered leaving Notre Dame. Golson explains in the interview “My heart was set on going back to Notre Dame. Not necessarily to prove anything to anybody. Just doing it for me. I felt like that’s something that I started and I didn’t want to run away from it… I was going to face it.”
While we sometimes see these young adults in College athletics make poor decisions and not recover from them, it is encouraging to witness the ones who learn from their mistakes and become better individuals from the negative experiences. Likely returning to the starting Quarterback position at Notre Dame next season, Everett Golson proclaims that this whole situation has indeed shaped him into just that, a better man. When Staples asks him what Notre Dame will get when he returns to the University, Golson replies, “Just a more polished individual, really. That goes for on and off the field.”
Everyone loves a good story of redemption that is driven by genuine remorse, a sense of humility and some hard work. It seems inordinately apparent that Notre Dame’s 2014 version of that story will come in the form of Everett Golson under center.