Notre Dame has been ordered to vacate wins from 2012 and 2013 after a student athletic trainer committed academic misconduct on behalf of multiple football players. The program will appeal the punishment.
The NCAA announced its findings and the penalties on Tuesday. The trainer was found to be in violation of ethical conduct rules after committing misconduct by completing coursework for two student-athletes and providing impermissible academic benefits to six others. Another student athlete was found to have committed academic misconduct on his own.
The program will be placed on one year’s probation, fined $5,000, and must vacate all wins in which the athletes participated while ineligible from the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons. The former student trainer must observe a two-year show-cause order and dissociate from the Notre Dame program.
Head coach Brian Kelly addressed reporters on Tuesday following the announcement, saying he found the penalties excessive.
"It's never happened before in the history of the NCAA, the penalty has never been issued in this fashion before,” Kelly added, according to ESPN. “I think that qualifies for being, first of all, it was discretionary, this is a discretionary action by the committee. That's No. 1. No. 2, student-on-student cheating, nobody implicated. The NCAA agreed across the board with that finding, and it was clearly excessive, so we're gonna appeal this, and one of the options or clear reasons for appeal is that the penalty is excessive in its discretion and we believe we have obvious grounds there.”
Notre Dame’s full statement on the appeal is here.