August 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Tuesday's college football roundup: Everett Golson says Notre Dame is coming together

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson sat out last season because of academic issues, but is back at practice. (Joe Raymond / Associated Press)

South Bend, Ind. — Quarterback Everett Golson said the adversity of abruptly losing four teammates while Notre Dame investigates whether they were involved in academic dishonesty is bringing the Fighting Irish together.

“I guess I can go back to my instance, where you really see who your true friends are,” said Golson, who was suspended from school last fall for academic impropriety. “You see your true brotherhood through adversity. I think we’ve definitely come together.

“I think we’ve done a great job of dealing with adversity and know everybody on the outside is going to talk. But we can only control what we can control and that’s the mindset of our team. I think we’ve done a great job with that,” he said.

Linebacker Jaylon Smith echoed that sentiments.

“We’re a family here. We’ve just got to bond together,” he said.

Most of the other members of the 17th-ranked Fighting Irish who spoke during Tuesday’s media day wouldn’t comment about how the team was reacting to the losses of starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore. School officials have said they don’t know how long the investigation will take.

Golson wouldn’t talk specifically about the four players involved, saying he didn’t know enough about what occurred, but he talked about what he went through when he was suspended and how embarrassing it was.

“It hurt. I felt I had to feel the full brunt of that to self-evaluate myself and correct my mistakes. Be a better person. Be a better leader,” he said.

Golson said he appreciates more what it means to play football at Notre Dame the second time around.

“I’ve been hit with it, so you have a better appreciation of the university,” he said.

Golson and other Irish players said they know the classes at Notre Dame are harder than at most other schools. Golson said that’s one of the reasons he wanted to return.

“Being a student-athlete here is definitely not easy,” he said. “But it’s manageable and possible to be done. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I think you’ll grow through it.”

Extra points

Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher says the league’s new 13-year media rights agreement with ESPN provides long-term stability to the conference at an uncertain time for college athletics.

The MAC and ESPN officially announced the new deal, which runs through the 2026-27 season. The contract reworks the final three years of the current eight-year deal that MAC has with the network, and adds 10 years.

The agreement gives ESPN exclusive rights to all MAC sporting events, and guarantees coverage of all football games on one of the ESPN television networks or its online network, ESPN3. Financial terms were not revealed.

... Maryland says it will start guaranteeing scholarships to students-athletes until they graduate, regardless of injury or on-field performance.

Maryland announced the guaranteed scholarships will begin this November. They will go to athletes in all sports, not just the revenue sports of football and basketball.