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Utah Utes football: U. talking to Irish about 2010 matchup

Published: Saturday, May 31 2008 12:03 a.m. MDT

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has confirmed that the Utes are negotiating with Notre Dame about a first-ever football meeting between the schools. The game would be played in 2010 in South Bend, Ind., on a date to be determined.

"It's not a done deal yet, but there's been conversations," said Whittingham. "We're excited, and I think it's a great opportunity if it comes to fruition."

The agreement, he added, will most likely be a one-time deal, with no plans for the Irish to make a visit to Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Should the proposed game be set, Utah's 2010 non-conference schedule would most certainly be altered. The Utes already have road games scheduled at Utah State and Iowa State that year, along with a home date with San Jose State.

Filling their open date — created when a series with Washington State was moved — with another road game would cause a schedule imbalance, something Utah officials are not interested in.

"We want to have six home games and six away. That's how you want to do it," said Whittingham, who acknowledged that Utah athletics director Chris Hill is working on making adjustments to the schedule to iron things out. "So I think there's got to be some massaging of the schedule to make that happen."

Despite the task of shuffling things around, Whittingham is optimistic that Utah and Notre Dame will play each other in 2010.

"I think it looks like a good possibility," he said. "Nothing is ever done until everything is signed. But I think from what I know at this point and time, I think it's a strong possibility it will happen."

The news comes just days before the Utes embark on summer conditioning. Whittingham said players will report Saturday evening and workouts begin Monday morning.

Wide receiver Marquis Wilson, who was suspended for all of spring ball for an undisclosed violation of team rules, will be among those participating.

Whittingham said the senior has been reinstated for the workouts.

"He's still got some obligations to live up to before we take the next step," said Whittingham. "He will be involved in the conditioning starting on Monday but has not made it all the way back for competition. So, he's got a ways to go."

Returning players will begin workouts on Monday, while those new to the team start on June 19 when the summer bridge program gets under way.

Though he'd like to have everyone in the fold by then, Whittingham noted that some junior college transfers may still have some course work to complete before reporting.

Players report to fall camp on Aug. 3. Practices begin the next day.

Utah opens the 2008 season Aug. 30 at Michigan.


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com

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