Notre Dame to Vacate Wins from 2012, 2013 Seasons After NCAA Violations

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2018

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 02: General view as Notre Dame Fighting Irish players huddle together on the field before a game against the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium on September 2, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. The Irish won 49-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Notre Dame football program must vacate the 21 wins it accumulated during the 2012 and 2013 seasons after losing an NCAA appeal.

Mike Vorel of the South Bend Tribune provided the update Tuesday. The case was related to a violation of ethical conduct rules by a former student athletic trainer, which was self-reported by the school. The decision to uphold the November 2016 ruling drops the Fighting Irish's all-time win total to 885.

Along with the lost wins, the Division I Committee on Infractions panel previously announced punishments that included a year of probation and a $5,000 fine for the university based on findings the trainer completed course work for two student-athletes, while a third committed separate individual misconduct.

In addition, five Notre Dame players were suspended for academic misconduct before the 2014 season, while four others left the program before the infractions were announced, per Vorel.

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

"It was student-on-student cheating," he told reporters. "This matter has nothing to do with me and my status here."

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School president Rev. John I. Jenkins released a letter about the case Tuesday, saying the university is "deeply disappointed" with the NCAA's latest ruling:

"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 purpose. As noted above, Notre Dame's exercise of academic autonomy in the form of the rigorous application of the University's Honor Code was the source of the underlying violation on which the vacation of wins penalty is based. Although all parties acknowledged that Notre Dame did everything right in response to the academic misconduct, the University is now told that it must live with severe sanctions for its actions."

Nevertheless, the decision wipes the Irish's undefeated regular season from 2012 off the books, as well as the team's 9-4 campaign in 2013 that included a win over Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.

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