NCAA orders Irish to forfeit wins from ’12, ’13 – ESPN

 In Sports
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The NCAA has ordered the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to vacate wins from their 2012 and 2013 football seasons in an academic misconduct case, it was announced Tuesday.

Notre Dame announced it will appeal the decision.

According to the decision, the agreed-upon violations centered on multiple years of academic misconduct by a former athletic trainer and two football student-athletes during a three-year period. The trainer also provided six other football players with impermissible academic benefits across 18 courses in two years.

The NCAA committee on infractions prescribed a public reprimand and censure of Notre Dame, one year of probation, a two-year show-cause order for the former trainer, a two-year disassociation of the former trainer, a vacating of all records in which ineligible student-athletes participated while ineligible during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, and a $5,000 fine.

“If doing the right thing means you’ve got to put an asterisk next to these games, that’s fine by me. We still beat Oklahoma. We still beat Wake Forest. We still beat all those teams, so you can put an asterisk next to it. If that makes you feel better, then that’s fine with me.”

Brian Kelly

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, speaking at a regularly scheduled news conference, said the entire school has been cooperative throughout the investigation, and he thanked it for its support.

“It’s never happened before in the history of the NCAA. The penalty has never been issued in this fashion before,” Kelly said. “I think that qualifies for being, first of all, it was discretionary. This is a discretionary action by the committee. That’s No. 1. No. 2, student-on-student cheating, nobody implicated. The NCAA agreed across the board with that finding, and it was clearly excessive, so we’re gonna appeal this, and one of the options or clear reasons for appeal is that the penalty is excessive in its discretion and we believe we have obvious grounds there.”

Kelly said he bears no culpability for the academic misconduct that occurred under his watch. He said he plans on being back in 2017 for an eighth season, saying criticism from this 4-7 season stems from the Fighting Irish’s lack of success and is independent of this NCAA situation.

“If doing the right thing means you’ve got to put an asterisk next to these games,” Kelly said of games he won that are subject to being vacated, “that’s fine by me.”

“We still beat Oklahoma. We still beat Wake Forest. We still beat all those teams, so you can put an asterisk next to it. If that makes you feel better, then that’s fine with me.”

Notre Dame was the national runner-up during the 2012 season, losing to Alabama in the BCS title game and finishing with a 12-1 mark. The Irish went 9-4 in 2013.

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