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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Notre Dame Football: Academic Case Coming To An End

The Fighting Irish continue moving forward despite off-field issues involving alleged violations.

As of Friday, all individual hearings for each player have been completed.

And, in keeping up with his war on the process, Phillip Daniels(father of Davaris Daniels) signaled via Twitter the process had been completed 2 days before the university signaled the end of the process.

His frustration since the start has amplified the voices of not only some of the players, but the fan base and some students and alum.

Cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams, wide receiver Davaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore and safety Eiler Hardy have been held out of competition, practices and team meetings since Aug. 15, although all four remained full-time students.

Late last week, Russell posted via Instagram possibilities of law suites down the road.

Davaris has been active via Twitter more then the other 4 players, perhaps even playing a game of sorts with his followers.

And recently the university released a statement regarding the investigation, which appears to reveal a negative tidbit of sorts regarding the fate of the 5 players.

It comes after 2 interesting 'statements' provided within the last 2 weeks from AD Jack Swarbrick and Notre Dame president John Jenkins.

Swarbrick released a "5 Pillars" video describing the expectations for university student-athletes.

Jenkins held a faculty luncheon commenting on the same ideas.

And perhaps the final blow was delt with 1 important paragraph within the university statement.

Here’s the full statement, in its entirety, issued Sunday by Paul J. Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications at Notre Dame:

On August 15 the Office of General Counsel of the University of Notre Dame notified the NCAA that because of potential ineligibility issues, the University was withholding from football participation certain student-athletes as part of an inquiry into possible academic dishonesty involving several other students as well. The NCAA was also informed that upon the start of the academic year later in the month, appropriate University committees would meet to develop review processes consistent with the Undergraduate Academic Code of Honor.

Often, an academic honesty review involves one student and one academic department. Due to the complexity of cases involving multiple disciplines, Comprehensive Honesty Committees were impaneled to review memoranda and extensive exhibits compiled in connection with the General Counsel's initial inquiry, interview witnesses and the subjects of the hearings, and potentially impose sanctions subject to appeal. A faculty reporter was also appointed to review voluminous material collected during the General Counsel's investigation to identify cases for the Comprehensive Committees’ review.

Hearings for those withheld from football were completed on Friday. Decisions will be communicated individually to affected student-athletes and other students alike, as deliberations on each case conclude. As with other student academic records, the results of the review are confidential, and the University will not disclose them, although affected students may if they so choose. If it is determined that student-athletes would have been ineligible during past competition, Notre Dame will voluntarily impose appropriate sanctions, report our findings to the NCAA, and await its independent review.

The principal purpose of the Honor Code process (see is to educate our students as to the importance of academic integrity. The process is time-consuming because it is thorough, as it must be to ensure integrity and fairness. Having said that, we recognize it can be difficult for students, regardless of culpability, who are subject to such reviews, especially when public scrutiny becomes so magnified for those who are student-athletes. We are working to resolve these situations as quickly as possible.

The item suggesting "affected students" may disclose results leans towards the university letting the players issue their own statement, or- admission of guilt.

It hyphenates the fact that Notre Dame still regards the image it projects and that no person will tarnish the student-athlete integrity aspect when it comes to honor and possible violations-and even championship seasons.

The penalties from that point forward could include vacating games played from the 2012 season.

This is the stumbling block.

Does the committee tinker with athletics, especially the grandest football program in the nation and the very 'gold' it provides the entire university?

The committee is risking a serious backlash should they find all 5 violated university protocal.

It's unlikely a single player will remain free from guilt or that player would have been dismissed from the hearings or never brought into the process.

And not all may be found guilty, or any possibly.

The players have been and will be replaced if suspended for the remainder of the season.

But results and even future scholarships are a different story, especially now that Brian Kelly has turned a modest program into a revenue giant again.

Notre Dame will always operate under the flag of honor,ethics and morality.

The students and athletes that enter through the gates into that world know that levels of expectation are much higher and stricter over almost every other university.

And the process to determine whether or not it will be tarnished based on the actions of students and student-athletes is of equal value overall.



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