SOUTH BEND - It wasn’t like Brian Kelly was stumping for more change Thursday, but he certainly would embrace it.
The second-year Notre Dame head football coach may have shaken up some traditionalists Saturday night with the new, louder ambiance at ND Stadium, then ruffled them further on Wednesday with strong words about JumboTrons and FieldTurf.
A day later, the NCAA announced its first wave of sweeping changes for college sports, including essentially deregulating some aspects of basketball recruiting.
Starting June 15 after a prospect’s sophomore year, coaches will be allowed unlimited texts, phone calls and private messages on social media to recruits.
The changes are being made to help eliminate unsavory third parties from being so involved in the recruiting process.
Kelly wouldn’t mind seeing something similar for football.
“I think, clearly, that the ability to communicate with the student-athlete has changed dramatically over time,” Kelly said. “I think everybody is starting to see that.
“If you don’t Facebook a kid today - they don’t pick up their phones, so I can see us, even in football, moving toward that.
“I’d have to see what the legislation would be like to comment deeper on it, but I can tell you the trend is it’s very difficult to get a hold of these kids. Then you have to go through third parties.”
No rerun speeches
The words Kelly used last year at the height of adversity won’t work this year, the coach said Thursday - because it’s a different situation.
“Adversity means a lot of things to a lot of people,” Kelly said, “and we can throw it around. I think last year’s team overcame adversity. This team needs to overcome itself. They’ve got to play better, consistently.”
-- Senior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore underwent surgery Thursday to repair a detached medial collateral ligament in his knee.
ND’s sixth-leading tackler suffered the injury last Saturday night against USC and has an estimated four- to six-month recovery time ahead of him.
“It went very, very well,” Kelly said of the operation. “He had no collateral damage at all. Usually, you have meniscus (damage) in there, but (there was none). It was very clean.”
-- ND’s other senior defensive end, Ethan Johnson, may see some time Saturday in a reserve role.
He hasn’t played in a game since suffering a high ankle sprain roughly four weeks ago in the opening defensive series of a win over Purdue.
“We’ll see how he goes in pregame,” Kelly said. “He’s favoring it right now. I think a lot of times the adrenaline of game day makes you look a lot better. Hopefully, he feels better on game day.”