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Brian Kelly and Notre Dame respond to former player's lawsuit

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame football is only a couple days away from what could be the biggest game of the season, as the Georgia Bulldogs visit South Bend. However, the program now has another battle on its plate, and it comes from a former player.

Court documents show that former Irish linebacker Doug Randolph is suing the university for negligence. The suit was filed in St. Joseph Circuit Court, and claims that the university withheld medical information from Randolph after he was injured. He was allowed to play the entire 2015 season and was later diagnosed with nerve damage in his neck that may potentially be permanent.

Notre Dame issued the following statement from Vice President Paul J. Browne on Thursday:

"We will respond in full to these claims in court, but what we can say with certainty is that nothing is more important to Notre Dame than the safety and well-being of our students. With that in mind, we believe our athletics doctors and trainers are second to none and we are completely confident that these health-care professionals provided proper medical care to the plaintiff in this case. We are equally confident that the allegations made in this lawsuit are baseless."

Along with the university and trainer Rob Hunt, Irish head coach Brian Kelly was named as one of the defendants in the case. He spoke with media after Thursday's practice, and said he was surprised to learn of his former player's claims.

"I'm there every day," he said. "I know the kind of quality healthcare that we provide. We've got outstanding doctors and trainers. That's our mission here is to provide the very best healthcare to our student athletes."

Randolph served as a student assistant during the 2016 season after the spinal injury resulted in a career-ending medical hardship. He recorded six tackles in 19 total games at Notre Dame.

The Irish play Georgia at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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