Notre Dame Penalized for Violating NCAA Recruiting Contact Rules

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Notre Dame's football program has been disciplined for violating NCAA recruiting contact rules, the Division I Committee on Infractions announced on Thursday.

The violations include an unnamed former assistant football coach having "impermissible contact with a prospect when he met privately with the prospect at his high school before July 1 after the completion of his junior year of high school." The former assistant coach shared the Fighting Irish's interest in recruiting the prospect during the meeting, and he also "exchanged impermissible text messages with another prospect on 10 occasions."

The case also involves a Level III recruiting violation against head coach Brian Kelly, who is referenced but not named in the release. 

"After initially declining a request, the head football coach impermissibly posed for a photo with another prospect while visiting the prospect's high school during the fall evaluation period," the release read.

As part of the penalties, Notre Dame's football program received one year of probation, a $5,000 fine and a six-month show-cause order for the former assistant football coach, including a one-game suspension at any employing member school.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick released a statement, per The Athletic's Matt Fortuna, calling the violations "unacceptable."

"Any violation of NCAA rules is unacceptable and Notre Dame takes full responsibility for its actions in this regard," Swarbrick said. "While we made clear to the NCAA our view that the agreed-upon penalties exceeded the nature of the infractions, we accept the final outcome of the case. In addition, the assistant coach involved is no longer employed by the university."

Other penalties against Notre Dame include:

  • Reduced football official visits for the 2020-21 academic year by one.
  • Reduced football unofficial visits by 14 days for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football staff during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • The university ended the recruitment of the prospect.
  • The university will not recruit any prospects from the high school in Seattle from the 2019-20 through 2021-22 academic years.