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Notre Dame president blasts NCAA for not restoring vacated wins

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Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins went on a lengthy tirade in the form of an elaborate letter to the Notre Dame community to express his disappointment with the NCAA. After appealing a ruling by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to vacate all wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to an academic misconduct investigation in South Bend, Notre Dame was informed the restoring of vacated wins will not be granted for those two particular seasons. Jenkins was not pleased.

“We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University’s appeal, announced today by the NCAA, of an earlier decision by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to vacate Notre Dame’s 2012 and 2013 football victories due to academic misconduct by several student-athletes,” Jenkins said in his lengthy letter, which has been shared on Notre Dame’s website.

“In academic misconduct cases, the penalty of vacation of team records has, until now, only been applied in the case of serious forms of institutional culpability: when coaches, administrators, or persons with academic responsibilities are complicit in cheating, or when an institution fails to monitor or lacks control over its athletics program,” Jenkins later explained. “In Notre Dame’s case, two of the students had received assistance from a full-time undergraduate student who had part-time employment as an assistant to our athletic trainers. Student-to-student cheating is not normally within the NCAA’s jurisdiction, but the NCAA concluded that the student’s role as a part-time assistant trainer made her a “representative of the institution” and justified a vacation of team records penalty in this case.”

As a refresher, here is what the NCAA said about the investigation back in November 2016;

During two academic years, the former student trainer and two football student-athletes engaged in academic misconduct when the former student trainer completed coursework for the student-athletes. These student-athletes, in addition to a third football student-athlete, also committed academic misconduct individually. The university determined the three student-athletes violated its academic integrity policies. The misconduct resulted in the student-athletes playing while ineligible — one student-athlete during the 2012-13 season and the other two student-athletes during the 2013-14 season.

The former student trainer also provided impermissible academic assistance to six additional football student-athletes in a total of 18 classes. She provided the assistance while she attended the university and a year after she graduated. Two of the student-athletes violated the university’s academic integrity policies. The remaining four student-athletes were not enrolled at the time the violations were discovered, so they were not subject to the university’s policies.

Jenkins has not changed his stance on the issue regarding the vacated wins, which really is one of the most meaningless punishments the NCAA can hand out anyway.

Notre Dame won 12 games in the 2012 season, which resulted in an undefeated regular season before losing in the BCS National Championship game against Alabama. The Irish won nine games in 2013, including a victory in the Pinstripe Bowl. All 21 wins will be wiped away in the NCAA record book.

You can read the full letter from Jenkins HERE.