Those Notre Dame Rumors Just Got Real Comment Count

Brian August 15th, 2014 at 1:45 PM



This just went from a rumor that was everywhere on Notre Dame boards to a three-alarm fire. The rumor: four Notre Dame players were going to be suspended for the year for some variety of academic fraud. Precisely the four players rumored were just absent from Notre Dame practice:

A foursome of Notre Dame veterans was not seen leaving the Irish practice field Friday afternoon. Cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams, linebacker Kendall Moore and wide receiver DaVaris Daniels were not among the players who exited the LaBar Practice Field Friday.

Notre Dame did not respond to questions about their absence.

And Pat Forde reports that ND is investigating some academic fraud:

That's Notre Dame's top corner (Russell), wide receiver (Daniels), and defensive end (Williams) plus a backup linebacker. Russell and Daniels were on track to get drafted after this season if they entered the draft early; Williams has been a bit of a disappointment after being a five-star recruit.

There were also rumors that ND was going to vacate their 2012 wins over this, which I don't buy since that actually matters to the Irish and UNC just got off scot free for a scandal which I'm just assuming is infinitely worse than whatever tempest in a teapot the Irish are flagellating themselves for.

UPDATE: Bruce Feldman confirms that all four players have been dismissed, whether temporarily or permanently.

UPDATE II (ACE): According to the South Bend Tribune, this could go beyond current players:

A source told the South Bend Tribune the scale of alleged fraud is comparable to the highly publicized case at the University of North Carolina and that a former player or players could be tied in as well.

Repeated attempts for comment and clarity from Notre Dame officials have gone unanswered.

The scope of this is growing by the minute, it seems.

UPDATE III: Notre Dame just released a statement on the matter.

Note: A news conference at 6 p.m. [ET] today will be streamed live on the University’s website,, and the athletics website,

The University of Notre Dame is investigating suspected academic dishonesty on the part of several students, including four members of the football team. Because of the potential for NCAA violations, the University notified the NCAAtoday, and the four football players will be held out of practice and competition until the conclusion of an ongoing investigation and the University honor code process. Any possible academic dishonesty by other students will be addressed appropriately.

This part may also be relevant to your interests.

That investigation is ongoing. If it determines that the student-athletes would have been ineligible during past competition, Notre Dame will voluntarily vacate any victories in which they participated.

There's also a rumor going around that up to 22(!) current or former players could be involved; thus far that's uncorroborated, however.



August 15th, 2014 at 10:07 PM ^

"Uhhhhhh coach....I gotta miss practice again to study for an exam....."

Coach: "Man that player is a great student. You gotta admire a kid that takes his academics that seriously..."




August 15th, 2014 at 2:01 PM ^

just made it a lot harder to beat Notre Dame.  That "rather play a team at full strength" thing is a real thing.  I hate when shit this like this happens to soon to be opponents.  They will have that whole "win one for the whatever" thing going on and it just flips the script.  Not a fan of it for our sake.


August 15th, 2014 at 2:06 PM ^

This is going to be Peppers coming out party now.  TDs baby!

MICHIGAN needs to bury these guys and then give them a letter that says LATER!


TO HELL WITH ND.  Words to live by.

LS And Play

August 15th, 2014 at 2:11 PM ^

I don't know, I mean we were already going in there as pretty heavy underdogs in the first place. It's not like we are all of a sudden huge favorites now. I think in this instance it definitely works to our benefit.


August 15th, 2014 at 2:19 PM ^

I think people who have been following both programs closely knew that Michigan should not be heavy underdogs going in. In recent years we have outplayed them. Even in 2012, we outgained them by a wide margin and gave them the game with turnovers.

This year's rendition of ND didn't look extremely daunting, even before the suspensions.


August 15th, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

Eh, I don't know.  When just one guy goes down, or a coach is sick or whatever, I can understad.  But this is at least 3 very good players.  

The whole "I'd rather play them at full strength" thing is fine for some, but not for me.  I want to win. I'm sure Nebraska doesn't care that Denard got hurt and that allowed them to smoke us, right?  And I didn't care that when we beat State a decade or so ago it was because Stanton went down.  Winning is winning.  Part of football is depth and dealing with injuries/absences.  We won't have Jake Butt and possibly Kyle Kalis when we play them.  So no, I don't feel bad they aren't at full strength.  Anything that helps us win is good in my book.  

turd ferguson

August 15th, 2014 at 2:22 PM ^

I agree, but then I also want to see Michigan schedule heavyweights and I'm not really sure how to reconcile the two.  I guess I want to play programs that look like heavyweights but aren't truly at that level (at least on game day).  Just one more reason that it's a shame that ND is coming off of the schedule.


August 15th, 2014 at 2:30 PM ^

3 good players well before the game and losing Denard(AKA - our offense) in the middle of the second quarter is not apples to apples.  Does this sting for Notre Dame, sure, but they will have quite a while to get other players ready to fill those roles and will have the "short-handed" matra going for them.  I don't know, I like to play good teams coming off a win more than off a loss.  In this instances, it is like ND will already be coming off a loss and out for blood.  Perhaps just me, but I feel unsettled by developments like these as a fan. 


August 15th, 2014 at 2:31 PM ^

I get where you're coming from, but I think you're putting too much weight into stuff like that.  Both teams will be amply fired up, regardless of what they're coming off.  Getting super excited doesn't make up for losing talented, experienced players.  And sure, they have guys they can prepare before our game, but those guys won't be as good as these guys.  

Also, this will help ND lose other games this fall, which I am in favor of.  Because Fuck ND.  


August 15th, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

If you just learned we lost Frank Clark, Blake Countess, and Devin Funchess for the season, how confident would you feel to win the ND game? I think that's basically the equivalent here