Notre Dame will be forced to vacate victories in the 2012 and 2013 football seasons due to NCAA violations by a student-trainer, the association announced Tuesday.

Notre Dame To Vacate Football Wins After Academic Violations

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions panel ruled the trainer violated ethical conduct rules when she committed academic misconduct for two football players by completing their coursework. The two players and another also committed individual academic misconduct, and Notre Dame ruled they violated the university’s academic integrity policy.

The student-trainer also provided six other players with impermissible academic extra benefits in a total of 18 classes.

Notre Dame, however, is appealing the penalty, arguing that the punishment is “unjustified,” as no school officials were involved in the academic misconduct. Their main argument revolves around the fact that the trainer implicated in the misconduct was a student at the university at the time, and not a university official who had been in charge of the school for a long time.


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“We believe that imposition of the vacation-of-records penalty without seriously underlying institutional misconduct will not primarily punish those responsible for the misconduct, but rather will punish coaches, student-athletes and indeed the entire institution who did nothing wrong, and with regard to this case, did everything right,” John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, said in a statement. The university does not dispute the NCAA’s other sanctions stemming from the case, which include a $5,000 fine and one year of probation.

Notre Dame was 12-1 in 2012, including an appearance in the BCS Championship game against Alabama. In 2013, the Fighting Irish finished 9-4. This season, Notre Dame is 4-7, the worst record of head coach Brian Kelly’s seven-year tenure at the school. They finish the season on Saturday at Southern California against the Trojans. The Irish lost their last game against Virginia Tech 34-31 at home on Saturday.

“This matter has nothing to do with me and my status here,” Kelly said. “This academic piece probably strengthens what I’ve been doing relative to advocating for our student-athletes and academic support staff relative to them being successful. This obviously has been going on for a few years. The announcement that comes out today has nothing to do with a lack or additional support for Brian Kelly. Any negative criticism about me now is because we’re 4-7. It has nothing to do with what came out there today.”

Other penalties handed down by the NCAA include one year of probation for the athletic department, and a public reprimand and censure for the university and a $5,000 fine. The NCAA has also issued a two-year, show-cause order against the student-trainer, and said the athletics department must disassociate from the former student-trainer for two years.

Caption:GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: Quarterback DeShone Kizer #14 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish throws a pass during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Buckeyes defeated the Fighting Irish 44-28. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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