With the rumor mill in full swing all afternoon, Notre Dame has published an official release confirming that an academic investigation is underway involving four current players.
Before diving in, here is a rundown of what all Notre Dame has confirmed to this point:
- Four current players are under academic investigation
- Allegations revolve around players submitting homework/papers that was written for them by others
- All four players are still enrolled at the University but will be held out of practice
- Vacating of wins is possible if the University determines allegations are true and impacted any previous eligibility
Now onto breaking down the details of the release.
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 NCAA today, 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.
Since Notre Dame has not released the names of the student athletes involved yet, we will continue to not list them as well. What is important here is that the four players have not been dismissed at this time and any sort of disciplinary action has not been dealt to them at this time. All four will be held out of practice, but at this point no suspensions or lengths have been announced.
Alleged improprieties involve students submitting papers and homework that they did not write themselves. This was initially discovered at the end of July.
Evidence that students had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others was initially detected at the end of the summer session, and referred to the compliance office in athletics on July 29. The Office of General Counselinitiated an immediate investigation.
Aside from the potential loss of four athletes from the team, previous team wins may be vacated if the University’s investigation determines that the allegations are in fact true and impacted any past eligibility for the players involved.
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.
Father Jenkins had this to add in the release:
“Integrity is at the heart of our mission and academic misconduct will not be tolerated at Notre Dame,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “If the suspected improprieties are proven, we will use the experience to reinforce among our students the importance of honesty in all that they do. We are also examining ways of better conveying to students that they can avail themselves of legitimate academic assistance without resorting to cheating.”
A press conference has been scheduled for 6:00 PM by the University to address the situation. Stay tuned.