The NCAA released a report containing Notre Dame infractions on Tuesday, stating that the Fighting Irish “committed academic misconduct.”
The rough 2016 college football season has become even more harsh for Notre Dame.
According to an NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions panel, a former Fighting Irish student athletic trainer violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when she committed academic misconduct for two football players and provided six other players with impermissible academic extra benefits. An additional student-athlete committed academic misconduct on his own.
The misconduct resulted in the student-athletes playing while ineligible – one during the 2012-13 season and the other two during the 2013-14 season. The time period covered Notre Dame’s 2012 12-1 BCS runner-up season when the Irish fell to Alabama, 42-14, in the title game.
The NCAA has prescribed Notre Dame one year of probation, a two-year show-cause order and a $5,000 fine for the university.
Notre Dame has challenged the vacation of wins – 21 in total – by the NCAA panel. If upheld, Notre Dame would fall from No. 2 to No. 6 on the all-time wins list.
The news continues a nightmarish season for head coach Brian Kelly, whose Irish are 4-7 after being ranked No. 10 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll. Notre Dame still has to face USC in its regular-season finale on Saturday.
Back in October, Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told ESPN.com that Kelly “will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year.” One has to wonder, though, how this news might affect Kelly’s status in South Bend.
If Kelly wasn’t on the hot seat already, the news heading into the Thanksgiving holiday certainly does not help his cause.