Notre Dame Football Punished for Violating NCAA Recruiting Contact Rules

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2021

A logo is shown on the helmet of Notre Dame offensive linesman Sam Bush during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in Indianapolis, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The NCAA has levied discipline against Notre Dame's football program for multiple recruiting violations.

Per an official announcement from the NCAA, Notre Dame's punishment includes one year of probation, a fine of $5,000 and a six-month show-cause order for a former assistant coach who had impermissible contact with a high school recruit.   

The program was also docked one official visit and had its period of unofficial visits reduced by 14 days during the 2020-21 academic year

The violation by the assistant coach occurred in January 2019 when he "met in person with the football prospective student-athlete privately and discussed the institution's interest in him enrolling as a football student-athlete, the value of an education at the institution and defensive schemes used by the institution" at the student-athlete's Seattle-area high school outside of the recruiting calendar. 

The coach also sent "10 impermissible text messages to a 2021 football prospective student-athlete prior to September 1 of the beginning of his junior year in high school" between July 17 and August 9, 2019. 

Head coach Brian Kelly had impermissible contact with a 2021 recruit off-campus in October 2019:

"Specifically, while visiting Pickerington during the fall football evaluation period, the head football coach was being escorted through the high school's cafeteria when the football prospective student-athlete recognized the head football coach and requested a photo with him. The head football coach initially declined, but ultimately allowed the photo."

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As part of the agreed-upon settlement, Notre Dame ended its recruitment of the Seattle-area student-athlete and won't recruit any players from that high school through the 2021-22 academic year.

The Fighting Irish are coming off a 10-2 record in 2020 and an appearance in the College Football Playoff. They won their first 10 games before losing to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game and Alabama in the Rose Bowl.