Alize Jones Ineligible for 2016 Notre Dame Football Season

Alize Jones - Notre Dame TE
Sophomore TE Alize Jones will not be eligible to play for the Irish this fall.  (Photo: Zach Bolinger // Icon Sportswire)

The Notre Dame off-season was uncharacteristically quiet in 2016.  That changed on Wednesday when news broke that sophomore tight end Alize Jones was ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season and will not take part in any contest for the Irish this fall.

First, here is the release from Notre Dame

Shortly after the release, Jones cleared up any ambiguity by stating that he did not live up to his academic requirements in a tweet (see below).  The key to note here is that Jones can still practice with the team but won’t be eligible to play suggesting that this isn’t a NCAA eligibility issue but rather a Notre Dame academic issue.

The loss of Jones is obviously big for the Notre Dame offense given Jones’ unique skillset.  We’ll have more on the loss of Jones later, but this leaves Notre Dame with just four tight ends – Durham Smythe, Nic Weishar, Tyler Luatua, and converted defensive lineman Jacob Matuska.  Only Smthye has scored a touchdown and the group has a combined six career receptions.

Luckily for Notre Dame Luatua decided against the transfer that he had planned on making in the spring otherwise the Irish depth at the position would be tested even more.

This news comes just a few days prior to the start of fall camp and jut a week after Brian Kelly said he was informed that all of the players grades had come back in good shape as they headed home for their last week off before the start of the season.

Earlier this summer Jones was named to the Mackey Award Watch List and his role in the Irish offense in 2016 was one of the more intriguing storylines to watch in camp.   Now the story line will be how Notre Dame rejuvenates the tight end position without arguably one of it’s most gifted athletes.

Aliz’e Jones’ Statement re: His Ineligibility in 2016


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  1. david
    September 14, 2015 at 9:29 am
    TB: GT will quite likely be taking ND to the woodshed Saturday. If ND was to scored 40 points, they’d very likely still lose. GT is very, very solid.
    Have a Plan B for the second half on Saturday…..yard chores, other games, heavy drinking….

  2. Neither George nor I know what precipitated Alize Jones’ academic ineligibility, nor do any of the rest who have commented but I, like George, don’t see this as evidence of what a “special place” ND is, nor do I necessarily see this as evidence of the university’s ‘integrity.’ The “frozen five fiasco” dismissed that assumption.
    What puzzles me is that in most recent cases at ND, it’s the most highly valued athletes (Golson, I. Williams,K.Russell, Jerian Grant) who become academically ineligible. I graduated from ND in 1973. While enrolled, I tried to avoid certain professors whose demeanor and self-assessment of their status was such that any student who failed was simply not worthy of passing what they often considered their challenging, demanding, but ‘undoubtedly unquestionable expectations’ of what a student must do to get his course’s credit. I also suspect there still are profs, and grad students who instruct students there, especially who instruct Freshmen like Alize Jones is, who are less than pleased that their beloved institution would be considered a “football factory”, and are less than overly concerned that they’d contribute to the derailing of an athlete, especially one as highly regarded concerning his potential as A. Jones. It is incumbent upon any major college football program that their athletic support staff carefully consider every professor/class each of their athletes take. I have no idea how close or far from academic eligibility the latest academic casualty was, but as a teacher, I often considered their failure as my failure as well. Such an attitude from any student’s teacher, including those who as student-athletes help pay the teachers’ salaries, would be expected, and definitely helpful if not necessary if you wish your football program to arise to elite status. That’s not favoritism; that’s common sense.
    I hope I’m wrong, but my experience at ND as a student, and after thirty-eight years as a teacher, suggest my concern is not as far-fetched as some would hope it to be. If my suspicions are correct ,then at least some of these academic ineligibilities are on the football staff.

  3. N.D is a very special place. Only a few schools have the integrity that N.D has unlike some of the other conferences. He’s a smart kid it will only help him to be a better person.

  4. I realize many of you are proud of this suspension, but ND needs to come up with a new way to show the world how “special” they are.

  5. Hate to see this happen. There has to be a way to stop this without a major impact on academics. I really respect Alize for owning it and promising to come back better and stronger.


  6. ND still has the moral values of an actual educational institution, a trait which vexes its fans, helps its already formidable, professional opponents, and gives ESPN a good chuckle.

  7. I have a lot of respect for Alize Jones. Not many individuals can take responsibility for their actions. Takes a lot of courage to own it and not run away. Although we will not see Jones on the field this fall. I’m sure he will have a huge impact in the future. Stay the course Jones, we are all behind you.

  8. Come on with this. First Golson, then Bryant and now Jones to. I know you cant hold these kids hands but this has to stop.

    Its hard enough getting 5 star kids to come to ND.

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