Marcus Freeman is already making an enemy out of one college football program prior to his first full season as Notre Dame’s head football coach.
In an interview with CBS Sports published on Friday, Freeman discussed the difficulties in recruiting for a school like Notre Dame due to its high academic demands. He also brought up his past college football experiences in comparison, including playing for Ohio State under then-head coach Jim Tressel. Freeman seemed to take a jab at Ohio State’s academic standards.
“I’m not saying from top to bottom, but the majority of our kids, they — I want to say this the right way — are pushed to learn and their study habits are formulated every day. You can’t cheat academics at Notre Dame,” Freeman said, per CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd (h/t Eleven Warriors).
“If you don’t go to class [at places like that], OK, take some online classes, show up for your appointments. At Notre Dame, you’re forced every day to go to class.”
Freeman played at Ohio State from 2004 to 2008 and was a fifth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
This isn’t the first time that the 36-year-old has taken a supposed shot at his alma mater.
After being named head coach in December, Freeman penned a letter in The Players’ Tribune where he seemed to indicate that he made the wrong decision in playing for Ohio State rather than Notre Dame.
The Buckeyes and Fighting Irish are scheduled to play on September 3. Freeman’s comments could add more anticipation to what is already expected to be a tremendous opening week matchup between the two teams.