Update 3: Notre Dame has released a statement regarding the rumors surrounding the alleged academic impropriety involving its football team, and clarified that the four players — unnamed in the statement — who are at the center of this scandal are suspended from the team, not dismissed, as was reported earlier. According to the statement, “the four football players will be held out of practice and competition until the conclusion of an ongoing investigation,” and, “students who are subject to the investigation will remain enrolled until its conclusion.”
Update 2: The South Bend Tribune is reporting that the alleged scandal compares to what took place at North Carolina. If so, the scope is much larger than originally reported. We’ll update you when we have something from the school itself.
A source told the South Bend Tribune the scale of alleged fraud is comparable to the highly publicized case at the University of North Carolina and that a former player or players could be tied in as well.
Update: We’ve got two updates – one from Yahoo’s Pat Forde, and another from Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
Forde is reporting that the four players (the first three of whom are projected starters) – Russell, Williams, Daniels and Moore – were all interviewed by school officials for a possible violation of the university’s honor code. Feldman is reporting that all four players have been dismissed from the school.
It’s also possible, according to Forde, that the school could wind up vacating victories from the 2012 season, during which the Irish went 12-1 and lost the BCS National Championship Game.
Citing sources, Fox Sports says the investigation was conducted over the summer by Notre Dame itself.
— Chris Goff (@GoffOnIrish) August 15, 2014
Earlier: Notre Dame fans, brace yourselves. The rumors that have been swirling all morning on Fighting Irish message boards and Twitter may actually have some substance. According to Yahoo’s Pat Forde, a number of football players (as well as regular students) are currently under investigation for academic fraud.
Yahoo Sports sources: investigation into academic fraud underway at Notre Dame, football players (as well as regular students) part of probe
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) August 15, 2014
According to 247 Sports, there were four players – KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, DaVaris Daniels and Kendall Moore – who were not seen on the field as practice was ending Friday. A number of reporters and fans also took photos of who was there – example:
Just tweeted from practice today..pay close attention to who’s NOT in the crowd.. http://t.co/oQ7vIt60uz
— TheDamefan (@TheDamefan) August 15, 2014
We’ll keep you updated on the situation.