Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

December 21, 2013

Notre Dame to play at Fenway Park in 2015

South Bend, Ind. — Notre Dame won’t play a Big Ten opponent in 2015, the first time that’s happened in more than 100 years, but the Fighting Irish will play a home game against Boston College at Fenway Park.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick released schedules for the next three seasons on Friday, saying a goal was to follow the model Jesse Harper started back in 1913 when he scheduled games at Army, Penn State and Texas and helped give the Fighting Irish a national following.

“We play coast to coast. Jesse Harper made that decision a hundred years ago. It changed the trajectory of the football program and the university, and we’re not going to stray from it,” Swarbrick said.

The 2014 schedule was released so late because Swarbrick had to adjustments when the school agreed to play five games a season against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents after joining the league for most sports other than football. That left the Irish with too many games.

The problem was solved when Wake Forest agreed to move its 2014 game to 2015 and Swarbrick made the game against Boston College a Shamrock Series game, where the Irish play one home game a season at a neutral site.

Swarbrick said that fit in with his goal of playing games in special places. The Irish will face Boston College at the home of the Boston Red Sox — the team Irish coach Brian Kelly grew up rooting for. The field served as the home field for Boston College for 76 games from 1914 through 1956.

Notre Dame already has measured the field at Fenway to make sure there wouldn’t be a recurrence of what happened when Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley Field in 2010 and they had to change the rules so that the offenses would run only toward the west end zone because the east end zone came within a foot of a padded brick wall.

“We spent a lot of time mapping it, staking it,” Swarbrick said. “The Yankees will tell you when we went there the first time, we drove them crazy.  We had to outline the entire field. We had to walk in and see it.”

Notre Dame wouldn’t have scheduled the game if officials thought there was any risk to players, Swarbrick said.

The Irish also play Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next season, Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2014 and 2016, Navy at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., next season and Army in San Antonio in 2016.

They open the 2015 season at home against Texas and open at the Longhorns in 2016.

Swarbrick said when putting together the schedule his other priorities were keeping the model of playing six home games, five road games and the Shamrock Series game, playing on Saturdays, preserving the games with USC, Stanford and Navy, maximizing the school’s geographic reach, maintaining a strong strength of schedule and playing other highly ranked academic schools.  

Maintaining games with traditional opponents Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan and Pittsburgh weren’t as high a priority. Swarbrick said he took it as a compliment so many people got upset the Irish won’t be playing them as often.

“I can’t think of a higher form of flattery for Notre Dame football, that people got so upset at the prospect of losing games with us,” he said.

He said the schedule achieves the geographic reach by playing in nine of the nation’s 12 largest cities during the three-year span and nine of the 10 largest Catholic communities.

Swarbrick said a priority moving forward is trying to add a Southeastern Conference opponent to the schedule. He said that’s difficult, however, because Notre Dame only has one open spot in its schedule for a road game and that is filled through the 2020 season. The Irish also owe BYU a game there.

The Irish also will be playing more home night games. Swarbrick said in addition to the annual Shamrock Series games being played at night, the Irish have agreed to play three night games every two years in South Bend.By TOM COYNE

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame won’t play a Big Ten opponent in 2015, the first time that’s happened in more than 100 years, but the Fighting Irish will play a home game against Boston College at Fenway Park.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick released schedules for the next three seasons on Friday, saying a goal was to follow the model Jesse Harper started back in 1913 when he scheduled games at Army, Penn State and Texas and helped give the Fighting Irish a national following.

“We play coast to coast. Jesse Harper made that decision a hundred years ago. It changed the trajectory of the football program and the university, and we’re not going to stray from it,” Swarbrick said.

The 2014 schedule was released so late because Swarbrick had to adjustments when the school agreed to play five games a season against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents after joining the league for most sports other than football. That left the Irish with too many games.

The problem was solved when Wake Forest agreed to move its 2014 game to 2015 and Swarbrick made the game against Boston College a Shamrock Series game, where the Irish play one home game a season at a neutral site.

Swarbrick said that fit in with his goal of playing games in special places. The Irish will face Boston College at the home of the Boston Red Sox — the team Irish coach Brian Kelly grew up rooting for. The field served as the home field for Boston College for 76 games from 1914 through 1956.

Notre Dame already has measured the field at Fenway to make sure there wouldn’t be a recurrence of what happened when Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley Field in 2010 and they had to change the rules so that the offenses would run only toward the west end zone because the east end zone came within a foot of a padded brick wall.

“We spent a lot of time mapping it, staking it,” Swarbrick said. “The Yankees will tell you when we went there the first time, we drove them crazy.  We had to outline the entire field. We had to walk in and see it.”

Notre Dame wouldn’t have scheduled the game if officials thought there was any risk to players, Swarbrick said.

The Irish also play Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next season, Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in 2014 and 2016, Navy at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., next season and Army in San Antonio in 2016.

They open the 2015 season at home against Texas and open at the Longhorns in 2016.

Swarbrick said when putting together the schedule his other priorities were keeping the model of playing six home games, five road games and the Shamrock Series game, playing on Saturdays, preserving the games with USC, Stanford and Navy, maximizing the school’s geographic reach, maintaining a strong strength of schedule and playing other highly ranked academic schools.  

Maintaining games with traditional opponents Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan and Pittsburgh weren’t as high a priority. Swarbrick said he took it as a compliment so many people got upset the Irish won’t be playing them as often.

“I can’t think of a higher form of flattery for Notre Dame football, that people got so upset at the prospect of losing games with us,” he said.

He said the schedule achieves the geographic reach by playing in nine of the nation’s 12 largest cities during the three-year span and nine of the 10 largest Catholic communities.

Swarbrick said a priority moving forward is trying to add a Southeastern Conference opponent to the schedule. He said that’s difficult, however, because Notre Dame only has one open spot in its schedule for a road game and that is filled through the 2020 season. The Irish also owe BYU a game there.

The Irish also will be playing more home night games. Swarbrick said in addition to the annual Shamrock Series games being played at night, the Irish have agreed to play three night games every two years in South Bend.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More