On Wednesday morning, news leaked out of South Bend that starting center Zach Auguste did not make the trip to Georgia Tech with the Irish.
He wasn’t kicked off the team, it was just an academic issue that he has to get cleared up. And while Notre Dame head coach did comment on Auguste after the Irish beat the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night in Atlanta, he didn’t provide much clarity for the situation.
“It’s an academic matter,” Brey told reporters the win. “He’s handling it. That’s all I’m going to say about it.”
“I don’t have enough info on it yet,” he added. “I’ll have a little more info on it (Thursday). … It’s out of my hands.”
This is the third time in a little more than a year that Brey has had a player in trouble because of his grades. Jerian Grant, who is having an all-american caliber season this year, was suspended from school for the second semester of the 2013-2014 season. He was essentially kicked off campus, but he returned to school in June. Demetrius Jackson was suspended for two games and missed a week of practice in February of his his freshman season because he had fallen behind with his classwork.
The good news for the Irish?
Auguste’s infraction does not appear to be an honor code violation, which is what kept Grant on campus and which got quarterback Everett Golson suspended two seasons ago.
On Wednesday in Atlanta, Notre Dame started freshman Martinas Geben in Auguste’s place, but Geben was pushed around by Georgia Tech’s big front line. Brey settled on using Austin Torres and Bonzie Colson as the center in a — very small — 2-3 zone, and it worked, but it was a quick fix. Notre Dame already struggles defensively, they cannot afford to play the rest of the season without their best interior presence.
Notre Dame’s next three games are Miami at home followed by Virginia Tech and N.C. State on the road. On Jan. 28th, they host Duke.