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Notre Dame enjoys New York

NEW YORK – Notre Dame players and coaches had a chance to enjoy New York in the days leading up to the No. 25 Irish (8-4) playing Rutgers (6-6) in Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Irish coach Brian Kelly and captains Zack Martin, TJ Jones and Bennett Jackson joined New Era staffers and Rutgers football representatives to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange after a breakfast there Thursday.

Notre Dame administrators and families toured the CBS Morning Show studios as well as MTV studios, and some members of the team and travel party took a tour to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

And on Thursday night, Notre Dame and Rutgers took part in a welcome reception and dinner at Yankee Stadium in the Legends Suite Club. The event included tours of Yankee Stadium and the New York Yankees Museum.

The Irish also had a memorable trip to the 9/11 Memorial on Friday. The team placed miniature American flags on the names of Notre Dame graduates Stephen N. Hyland, Jr. ('77), Dora Marie Menchaca ('77), Francis Edward Grogan ('51) and Robert John Ferris ('62), who are listed on the bronze panels that have the names of the victims from the terror attack around the reflecting pools of the site.

"I've been to a number of bowl games and BCS games and I can tell you that in terms of the organization, in terms of the detail, where you're going, what you're seeing, you're really leaving here with an understanding of this great city," Kelly said Friday at the coaches press conference in Yankee Stadium. "You also have in the Pinstripe Bowl, the backing of the Yankee organization, (Yankees president) Randy Levine, (Yankees executive director of non-baseball events) Mark Holtzman have done an incredible job of putting together a bowl game that I can tell you, after experiencing BCS bowls, this is as well-run as any.

"Our kids have been part of that process of being part of this bowl season. They're going to walk away feeling they were a part of this bowl season as much as any other program, and that's a tribute to the Pinstripe Bowl and the Yankee organization. They do it right."