Could QB Gunner Kiel Return to Notre Dame in Wake of Everett Golson's Departure?

Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterMay 26, 2013

Gunner Kiel
Gunner KielMatt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame, according to multiple sources. 

This is a shocking development. Notre Dame won't comment on why Golson is no longer enrolled in school, citing student privacy laws, according to the South Bend Tribune. But this raises another interesting possibility.

Gunner Kiel, who transferred from Notre Dame to Cincinnati last March, could actually transfer back to Notre Dame without a one-year sit-out penalty.

in his report on athletic scholarships, John Infante, a well-respected expert on NCAA bylaws, explains the rule that allows Kiel to transfer back to Notre Dame:

The student transfers to a second four-year collegiate institution, does not compete at the second institution and does not engage in other countable athletically related activities in the involved sport at the second institution beyond a 14-consecutive-day period and returns to the original institution. The 14-consecutive-day period begins with the date on which the student-athlete first engages in any countable athletically related activity (see Bylaw 17.02.1). A student may use this exception even if he or she has an unfulfilled residence requirement at the institution from which he or she is transferring.

Under this rule, Kiel qualifies. Moreover, even if Cincinnati were to refuse releasing Kiel from his scholarship at Cincinnati, Kiel could still transfer to Notre Dame and play this year.

Infante explains why:

If Cincinnati refuses to grant Kiel permission to contact Notre Dame about returning, it only means that Notre Dame cannot give Kiel a scholarship for one academic year or encourage the transfer. But if Kiel were to show up at Notre Dame to start the season, he would be eligible to play right away.

How messed up is this?

Kiel was the 5-star prospect who committed to Indiana and LSU. When he de-committed from LSU, head coach Les Miles reportedly said he didn't have "the chest" to play at LSU. Kiel then committed to Notre Dame and enrolled last year. After redshirting his freshman year, Kiel transferred to Cincinnati.

Would Kiel considering going back to Notre Dame? Probably not. Kiel didn't establish a good working relationship with Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, according to what Kiel told NBC Sports:

I respect Coach Kelly a lot and what he does. He’s a fiery coach and he did me well. My quarterbacks coach (Chuck Martin) and I really didn’t have the relationship I wanted, and that was one reason I didn’t like it. I tried to put in the work.

You still have to wonder what is going on in Kiel's head. The projected starting quarterback at Notre Dame is gone. Tommy Rees is the new projected starter, but his career has been very inconsistent. Gunner Kiel was at Notre Dame two months ago. And now he can transfer back. 

If the luck of the Irish holds true, Kiel may be packing his bags againl.