When news broke Friday afternoon that four key contributors to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program potentially committed academic fraud during the 2012 season, the school acted swiftly in response to the claims.
Notre Dame issued a statement which clarified the current status of wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams. Each of them are still with the team and enrolled in school until an internal investigation into the matter was completed. The school also pointed out it alerted the NCAA of any possible violations.
Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick (pictured above) also addressed the media shortly after the statement from the school was released.
During the press conference, Jenkins and Swarbrick confirmed the identities of the four players in question. They “have not been charged with academic dishonesty“, but the investigation is currently ongoing and it’s in the “early stages.” Suspicion arose July 29 when an “academic staffer suspected cheating on papers” and informed Notre Dame’s compliance department. Because the university is still in the early stage of the investigations, they weren’t “prepared to say how far back alleged cheating goes.” The actual length of the investigation hasn’t been determined and it’s unknown whether the players will be on the field when Notre Dame opens the season.
Despite these academic concerns, Notre Dame still has “great confidence” in head coach Brian Kelly and the staff has been fully cooperative with the investigation. There isn’t any indication the staff had any knowledge of cheating. Kelly was supposedly “devastated” upon hearing the news.
The actual repercussions from the investigation could vary significantly. The aforementioned players could simply receive an “F” on the papers or be dismissed, if they are guilty of the actions.