SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says he understands the frustration expressed on a social media account belonging to one of five players being held out of practices and games while they go through hearings to determine whether they are guilty of academic dishonesty.
Postings Wednesday on an Instagram account owned by cornerback KeiVarae Russell, that have since been deleted, read: ''This school is becoming ridiculous.'' A posting also indicated that the hearing before the honesty committee had gone well and he had been able to refute ''near every suspicion they had.'' But it also said no decision would likely be known until next week.
''I feel for him,'' Kelly said after practice Thursday. ''My role in this whole thing is to try to keep our guys together, the guys that are on the field. I can certainly understand how he could be frustrated. But hopefully we're nearing an end and we're hoping we get him back soon.''
Kelly said he had not spoken to Russell or any of the other four players involved since the hearings began. Russell did not respond to telephone messages or text messages from The Associated Press on Wednesday and Thursday asking him to confirm he posted the messages.
The university announced Aug. 15 that it was investigating whether Russell, receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others. On Aug. 28, it added safety Eilar Hardy to the list.
Kelly said he wouldn't describe himself as frustrated with the process.
''I think for me, I feel for my players. I feel bad for them. I guess that's the feelings I have,'' he said. ''They're missing a significant amount of playing time. It's hard to give up playing time. I know when I was in college, you missed a game, you're 18, 19, 20 years old, that's catastrophic. So I understand what they're going through.''
Kelly believes the hearings will be done by Friday. Kelly says he doesn't have any firsthand knowledge of when the players will learn their fates, but says he expects it to be next week. University rules give students a week to appeal those decisions.
The ninth-ranked Irish (4-0) play No. 14 Stanford (3-1) on Saturday. Kelly has said if the players are cleared he will let them play immediately.