NCAA denies appeal on vacated Notre Dame wins in academic misconduct case

The curious case of Notre Dame’s Rev. John Jenkins vs. the NCAA

The curious case of Notre Dame’s Rev. John Jenkins vs. the NCAA

One of the best seasons in the last generation of Notre Dame football will indeed be taken off the record.

An NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions panel announced the penalties in November 2016. The panel prescribed the vacation of records, along with a probation period and a show-cause order for the former athletic training student. The NCAA's findings do not affect Alabama's title from that season.

The NCAA's announcement of the denial of the appeal said only that, "The appeals committee confirmed that at the time of the violations, the athletic training student was considered a university employee under NCAA rules". "Although all parties acknowledged that Notre Dame did everything right in response to the academic misconduct, the University is now told that it must live with severe sanctions for its actions". You can bet Notre Dame is embarrassed.

Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins, in a letter to alumni, said the ruling was unfair compared to the North Carolina case.

At the end of the 2017 season, Notre Dame was barely behind MI on the all-time winning percentage chart and could have passed the Wolverines with a victory in this year's September 1 opener.

The NCAA denied Notre Dame's appeal Tuesday, wiping off the books all 12 wins from the Fighting Irish's 2012 national championship game run under coach Brian Kelly. "The committee failed to provide any rationale for why it viewed the (student trainer) as an institutional representative in our case", Jenkins wrote.

"In every other case in the record (where wins are vacated) - meticulously detailed in the University's arguments - the institutional representative of the university was employed as an administrator, coach, or person who served an academic role". Today, the NCAA appeals committee denied the appeal. When these student-athletes competed in 2012 and 2013, the University correctly certified to the NCAA that they were eligible to compete.

Jenkins that Notre Dame shouldn't be punished for changing the student's grades according to the school's "Honor Code" - thereby retroactively making them ineligible to play football - when the cheating was realized.

Jenkins even referenced the NCAA's decision regarding the North Carolina academic misconduct case in Notre Dame's case against the NCAA. At best, the NCAA's decision in this case creates a randomness of outcome based exclusively on how an institution chooses to define its honor code; at worst, it creates an incentive for colleges and universities to change their honor codes to avoid sanctions like that imposed here. As a result of the infractions, several athletes.