Notre Dame President Blasts NCAA

Notre Dame President Blasts NCAA

Notre Dame only appealed the penalty that vacated victories, choosing to accept certain NCAA findings and acknowledge cheating of several football players and a student athletic trainer.

In academic misconduct cases, the penalty of vacation of team records has, until now, only been applied in the case of serious forms of institutional culpability: when coaches, administrators, or persons with academic responsibilities are complicit in cheating, or when an institution fails to monitor or lacks control over its athletics program. The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee was the group that denied the appeal, the NCAA announced. "The appeals committee found the panel has the authority under NCAA rules to prescribe penalties for academic misconduct violations". Those things happened, NCAA ruling or not. "Therefore, under the bylaws in place at the time of the violations, a student trainer would be considered an institutional employee".

The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were Ellen Ferris, associate commissioner for governance and compliance at the American Athletic Conference; Jack Friedenthal, professor emeritus at George Washington; W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney in private practice; Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at Texas; and David Williams, committee chair and vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director at Vanderbilt.

"When reviewing infractions cases, the Committee on Infractions uses the bylaws and interpretations contemporaneous to the conduct being reviewed", the appeals committee wrote.

Before the decision, Notre Dame ranked No. 2 all time in wins, behind only MI.

Jenkins even referenced the NCAA's decision regarding the North Carolina academic misconduct case in Notre Dame's case against the NCAA.

An appeal by Notre Dame against the NCAA in an academic misconduct case has been denied. "To impose a severe penalty for this retroactive ineligibility establishes a risky precedent and turns the seminal concept of academic autonomy on its head".

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Head coach Brian Kelly downplayed his role in the situation when the initial announcement was made in November 2016.

"At worst, (this decision) creates an incentive for colleges and universities to change their honor codes to avoid sanctions like that imposed here", Jenkins wrote.

"The NCAA has not chosen to ignore academic autonomy; it has instead perverted it by divorcing it from its logical and necessary connection to the underlying educational objective", Jenkins wrote.

Overall, the vacation of wins always seems like a hollow punishment.

In his letter, Jenkins said the players were retroactively declared ineligible after Notre Dame investigated the misconduct in 2014 and recalculated the students' grades.

"We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University's appeal, announced today by the NCAA", Jenkins wrote, in part.

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