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Golson will miss 2013, wants to return to Notre Dame

Everett Golson acknowledged that "poor academic judgment" will not allow him to play for Notre Dame in the 2013 season, in a statement from the quarterback released by the university Sunday.

And Golson also expressed a desire to return the Irish.

"I take full responsibility for my poor choices and will do all that is asked of me to regain the trust of my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the entire Notre Dame community," Golson said in the release.

Notre Dame confirmed Saturday night that Golson was no longer enrolled at the university, and numerous media outlets cited academic issues for the split.

Golson, who didn't play as a freshman, started 11 of 13 games and went 10-1 for the Irish last season as a sophomore. He guided Notre Dame to the No. 1 ranking at the end of the season and his only loss was to Alabama in the BCS championship game Jan. 7.

Golson could return after missing the fall semester like former Irish defensive backs Darrin Walls and Gary Gray, who both reportedly missed a full semester because of academic issues and returned to the program.

"My parents and the community I grew up in have instilled values in me that have and will continue to allow me to be successful in the future," said Golson, a native of Myrtle Beach, S.C. "There have been many lessons learned as I worked to become the starting quarterback at Notre Dame and each was a result of Coach (Brian) Kelly's belief in me as an athlete and a person.

"I want to thank the University of Notre Dame for the opportunity already granted and also the opportunity going forth to regain my eligibility in the winter of 2014."

Golson missed two starts last season. He didn't start in a 41-3 win over Miami on Oct. 6 at Chicago's Soldier Field because he was late to practice when a meeting with a professor ran long and he didn't inform coach Brian Kelly of the situation, but he only missed the first series against the Hurricanes. He also didn't play in the Irish's 17-14 home win over BYU on Oct. 20 as he recovered from a concussion he suffered in a 20-13 overtime victory against Stanford the previous week.

"At this point, I understand how my integrity could be in question but I want to reassure my supporters that through this experience I will return a better student athlete as well as a better individual," Golson said.

In his first season as a starter, Golson completed 58.8 percent of his passes (187 of 318) for 2,405 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions and ran for 298 yards with a team-high six touchdowns.

With Golson out for at least this season, Notre Dame will likely turn to Tommy Rees to start at quarterback.

The 6-2, 210-pound Rees, who will be a senior, is 14-4 as starter and has played in 34 games in three seasons.

Rees has completed 63.6 percent of his passes (403 of 634) for 4,413 yards with 34 touchdowns. But he has struggled with turnovers, throwing 24 interceptions in his career and 14 when he started 12 of 13 games in 2012.

Rees was called on to replace an inexperienced Golson in wins over Purdue and Michigan last season.

He also stepped in at quarterback when Golson suffered a concussion late in an overtime win against Stanford and started in a home win over BYU when Golson was not ready to play after the injury.

Behind Rees, Notre Dame has two more scholarship quarterbacks with senior Andrew Hendrix, who would have an option for a fifth year after this season, and Malik Zaire, a freshman this season who enrolled early and participated in spring camp. The Irish also have walk-on Charlie Fiessinger and quarterback-turned-receiver Luke Massa as options.

Hendrix is the only quarterback to have played for the Irish besides Rees. The 6-2, 220-pounder has appeared in eight games, throwing for 304 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and running for 203 yards with a touchdown.

A potential twist to the Irish's quarterback situation was closed Sunday, when former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel indicated to the Cincinnati Enquirer that he would not consider returning to his former team.

He could have returned to Notre Dame and not had to sit out the season, according to NCAA rules.

Kiel, who didn't play as a freshman, left Notre Dame before the start of spring camp and has enrolled at Cincinnati.

The former five-star prospect sent a text to the paper stating, "I'm a Bearcat."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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