Notre Dame players under investigation will miss opener

Written By BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media Posted: 08/26/2014, 11:52am

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Brian Kelly doesn’t have a timeline for when he expects Notre Dame’s investigation into suspected academic fraud to wrap up.

But he does know that he’ll be without wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore for Saturday’s game against Rice.

Kelly said during his weekly Tuesday news conference that the four will miss the season opener. With the potential for NCAA violations, the players are being held out of practice and games until the investigation is complete.

“I know that when we go through an academic process like this, that involves our honor code, that this is a process that’s out of my hands,” Kelly said. “I’ve been through one already with (quarterback) Everett (Golson, who missed the 2013 season because of a suspension tied to academics), so I know the workings of it.

“It does me no good to put a timetable on it. It does me no good to think about what day. I moved on and the process will take care of itself.”

Kelly plans on seeking an update on the situation next week.

“I figure with school starting Tuesday that (athletic director) Jack (Swarbrick) will inform me once he gets information,” Kelly said. “He’s pretty good at getting right back with me, so (it’s) not something where I feel like I’ve got to pick up the phone if there is a disconnect with information.

“Jack works great with immediately getting me information that is needed relative to making decisions for our football team.”

The four have not practiced since the school announced the investigation on Aug. 15. Russell, Daniels and Williams were in line to start. Russell entered fall camp as one of the top defensive players on the team. Daniels is the team’s top returning receiver in terms of catches, yards and touchdown receptions.

As he awaits the outcome, Kelly respects how the process has been handled.

“I did not feel in this instance that I was at any time left out of the loop, felt as though I was blindsided by a long investigation,” he said. “I think the information that was ascertained in this matter was pretty straightforward.

“It was quick, and once they were able to kind of confirm the information, Jack let me know.”

Note: Safety Austin Collinsworth, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, center Nick Martin and running back Cam McDaniel were named captains.


Twitter: @lamondpope

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