Notre Dame basketball: Future in doubt for Biedscheid

TOM NOIE
South Bend Tribune

Playing major college basketball for a program he had long loved was a dream of sophomore swingman Cameron Biedscheid.

That Notre Dame dream looks close to ending.

A former Top 30 recruit from Cardinal Ritter Prep School in St. Louis, Biedscheid has expedited the process of transferring. According to his father, Dan, Biedscheid received a “permit to contact letter” Thursday morning from the Notre Dame compliance office.

A “permit to contact letter” allows a student-athlete to contact potential transfer schools as long as those schools meet certain criteria of his current school. For example, when Notre Dame was a member of the Big East, league policy prohibited players from transferring from one league school to another. In football, a Notre Dame student-athlete likely is not allowed to list a future opponent – say Southern California or Stanford – on his permit to contact letter.

A permit to contact letter doesn’t guarantee a transfer.

Biedscheid could not be reached for comment. A Notre Dame spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that Irish coach Mike Brey was unavailable, but may address the situation Friday afternoon during his team’s pre-practice media availability.

Notre Dame players were expected back from Christmas break for practice Thursday at 7 p.m. Biedscheid was not at the workout. Biedscheid’s father told the Tribune that his son was back in St. Louis. He also said that his son does not have any schools currently on his transfer wish list.

Early in his junior year of high school, Biedscheid chose Notre Dame over the likes of Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and UNLV. He was lightly recruited by home-state schools Missouri and Saint Louis. Later, during Biedscheid’s junior year of high school, new Missouri head coach Frank Haith vowed to contact as many college prospects – committed or otherwise - around the state to keep them in state. But Biedscheid told the Tribune back then he had no interest in even hearing from Missouri. His heart was at Notre Dame.

“A lot of schools backed off Cam when he committed to Notre Dame,” Cardinal Ritter coach Marvin Neals told the Tribune Thursday. “He was so into going to Notre Dame that they figured there was no use recruiting him anymore.”

A Parade All-American as a prep senior, Biedscheid averaged 31.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists his final year at Ritter. He finished his prep career with more than 2,000 points. As a freshman at Notre Dame, Biedscheid averaged 6.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 17.4 minutes. He appeared in 34 games, all as a reserve.

Biedscheid was sitting out the 2013-14 season to preserve a year of eligibility and concentrate on academics. He did not accompany the Irish on any of their three non-conference road trips this month – to Iowa (Dec. 3), Indianapolis to play Indiana (Dec. 14) and, most recently, Saturday to New York to play No. 3 Ohio State.

Even when Notre Dame lost leading scorer Jerian Grant earlier this week to an academic issue, which will force him to miss the spring semester, there were no plans to add Biedscheid to the active roster. Brey said Monday that he felt it was best for all involved if Biedscheid remained in his current role so he could concentrate on his studies.

Sitting out the season was nowhere on Biedscheid’s radar this summer. He vowed during an interview with a St. Louis television station that he would be a starter as a sophomore on an Irish squad that was returning all but one starter from a team that finished the previous year 25-10. He vowed during media day that fans would see a new and improved Biedscheid this season. Why? Because he could score.

“He thought he’d be competing for a starting job,” Neals said. “Once he realized his role might diminish, he was not a happy camper.”

Sophomore Cam Biedscheid, shown in an early-season practice, did not show up for practice Thursday night. SBT Photo/JAMES BROSHER