Brian Kelly On the Academic Investigation at Notre Dame

Brian Kelly talked with the media after practice on Saturday for the first time since the news of the ongoing academic investigation at Notre Dame broke.  Even though the Irish held practice in Notre Dame Stadium with the media having full access, the questions for Kelly obviously focused almost exclusively on the investigation.

Here is the full video of the press conference via WatchND along with some notes from what Kelly had to say.

  • Kelly said he could not share much today because he doesn’t have much information and doesn’t know all of the facts yet.
  • Jack Swarbrick informed Kelly of the alleged academic dishonesty on Thursday.  He told Kelly of the potential academic issues at that time and he was “shocked and disappointed”.
  • Kelly will not be involved in the investigation at all.  He said that he will be just like the media on the outside looking in.
  • “It’s a privelege to play for Notre Dame, not a right and we hold our players for a very high standard.”
  • Kelly said that he was proud of Notre Dame and the way that they act with regards to practicing what they preach.  “We don’t look the other way.”
  • Kelly said they have covenant in the locker room of, “Treat women with respect, don’t cheat, don’t lie, and don’t steal.”  That motto has been on the wall ever since Brian Kelly took the job at Notre Dame.  Those are standards that Kelly has
  • Kelly had not talked to the four players involved in the investigation as of today’s press conference, but he planned to do so later today or in the next 24 hours.  When Everett Golson was dismissed for his academic issue last year Kelly said he didn’t talk to him until after the fact either
  • Kelly said he was not overly concerned with how this situation will affect his team long term.  He said that there will be questions from the rest of the team for a few days but that when it’s time to play the games he has no doubt they’ll be ready to play for their University, themselves, and their families.
  • One of the reasons Kelly came to Notre Dame was because of the core values that Notre Dame holds around integrity.  He said he applauds the University for the way it handles these matters.
  • Kelly does not think that they have brought in the wrong types of players but that they need to do a better job of educating them and providing them the resources they need.
  • When asked about how this effects Notre Dame’s depth, Kelly said that you simply can’t replace Keivarae Russell calling one of the best corners they’ve had in a while.  He mentioned Cole Luke and Devin Butler being called on to step in.  He also said that they have enough depth at wide receiver to survive.
  • Throughout Kelly was very clear that he was not passing any judgement on the four players in question but did say that he was disappointed about the situation the team is now in.
  • The players won’t be in team meetings during this process either according to Kelly but they can eat with the team and be at the Gug as much as they want.
  • Kelly was asked point blank if he was investigated to this point or if he thought he would be to which he simply answered “no” both times.
  • Even if Notre Dame ends up vacating wins from the 2012 season, Kelly said that wouldn’t change how he felt about that team.
  • Once the investigation is complete, Kelly wants to know all of the details and use the findings to help improve the program.
  • Kelly doesn’t expect the investigation to go beyond the four players that are currently involved.

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  1. nice work, Archangel, a balanced combination between discipline and compassion. Justice tempered by mercy. Very sound, very Christian, Very Notre Dame.

  2. There are high standards and then there are unrealistic expectations.
    I’m not advocating turning a blind eye. But I realize “academic fraud’ happens at every school in every course. Was it one assignment or numerous courses? Would an “F” for that assignment or for that course make that athlete ineligible? If not, why would getting thrown out of school and off the team be an appropriate punishment? Because it looks “tough”? Some institutions set their athletes up with athlete-friendly courses taught by athlete-friendly profs to avoid this from happening to their stars. Some see their players as revenue enhancers primarily- and some accept them as athletes and students, as long as school doesn’t interfere with them making their sports’ programs more money. Somewhere between that and deciding to decimate an athlete’s future (for Ishaq, at least) is where I’d like ND to be.
    What Brian Kelly didn’t say, and probably couldn’t say, is what needs to be said by someone; so I’ll say it.

    Open letter to Russell, Ishaq, and Daniels:

    We all make many errors in judgment while young. I did, before and during my attendance at ND. Fortunately for me, my transgressions weren’t reported by the rush to judgment lazy sensationalistic media, and my immature poor choices weren’t characterized as a dark murky stain on the entire institution. To recognize that young people do make poor choices shouldn’t be seen as giving athletes or students preferential treatment. But don’t expect an image-conscious institution to issue a reasonable “let the punishment fit the crime” penalty. If the administration can’t decide on an appropriate reasonable punishment sooner than later, (and appropriate at ND does not equal to appropriate everywhere else when it comes to high-profile athletes) don’t sit around and wait. Would ND have excluded you from the team without strong evidence of violation? Hopefully, not. I don’t know what you are being accused of, but I do recall some of the many errors in judgment I made at your age, (apparently, some of our posters never did) if indeed you messed up. But you can bet to make its point that ND is “above it all”, your punishment will be beyond what any other athlete in any other elite football program anywhere for the same offense would receive, whatever your transgression. I don’t excuse, but I suspect that at other elite football programs, whatever “academic horror” you committed is likely business as usual. Other schools protect and forgive for the sake of the program’s revenue. Not here. They feel they don’t need to. Image trumps understanding and forgiveness. Even Jesus fell three times. But don’t expect from ND the forgiveness reflected in Jesus’ message to a targeted sinner, halting the stoning, “Go, and sin no more” when prideful image is at stake.
    The bus’s engine is revving and the caution lights are flashing. Even if you fueled the engine, don’t get thrown under the bus. All three of you were eyeing the NFL next season anyway. Inquire about a transfer to a Division 2 team SOON, like this week, so you can compete this year. The NFL has its share of D2 players who play on Sundays. Your future is at the next level. If you don’t make it there, go get your degree later, elsewhere. Getting a degree is important. Showing the pro scouts what you can do this season to get to the next level next season follows the acronym W.I.N. (What’s Important Now). I was taught to focus on W.I.N., and for you three, that’s playing this season so as to play in the NFL next season.
    Hope to see all three of you on Sundays in 2015. Thanks for the memories. I hate to see you go, but you need to do what’s best for you as ND does what it perceives as best for their image and future. That, unfortunately, will likely not include you this season. Ask Everett what one assignment in one Accounting course can cost you. Protect your future. Move on.

  3. Two comments: I’m grateful ND maintains high standards and follows through with suspected abuses; other students besides four football players are subjects of the investigation so don’t lay this at the feet of Coach Kelly.

  4. Did Kelly forget about the recent rape accusation against one of their “scholar/athletes” that was totally ignored by the team officials and the university that resulting in a young woman committing suicide? Guess that does not count in their honor code.

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