Posted August 15, 2014 by Doric Sam in Sports

NCAA: Notre Dame Under Investigation for Academic Fraud

Four Notre Dame football players have been implicated in an investigation into academic fraud at the university, according to multiple reports.

According to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, the four players being investigated — wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore — have been dismissed from the school. Three of the players have been starters, and Moore was considered a key contributor off the bench.

Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde reports that it’s possible that Notre Dame will have to vacate wins from the 2012 season, when the Irish went 12-0 before losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game:

The situation was described to Yahoo Sports as a potential “honor code violation,” which could result in the ineligibility of the players. Under NCAA protocol, if any fraud that occurred impacted players’ eligibility the school could ultimately vacate victories.

According to reports the NCAA is aware of the situation, but the university initiated the investigation and has handled the inquiry itself to this point. The investigation is also looking at non-athletes. Reports say the school’s knowledge of the potential fraud is “recent” and that the academic questions came to light this month.

This isn’t the first academic scandal at Notre Dame recently, as 2012 quarterback Everett Golson was removed from the university’s enrollment before last season due to an academic violation. He was readmitted in December and has been named the starting quarterback for the upcoming season. The Irish are ranked No. 17 in the preseason USA Today/Coaches’ poll.

Daniels was Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver, with 49 catches for 745 yards and seven touchdowns last year. Russell had 51 tackles and broke up eight passes last year as a starting cornerback. Williams, a defensive end, is a senior who had 17 tackles last year and was battling for a spot in the starting lineup. Linebacker Moore also had 17 tackles last season and was a projected backup in 2014.

The investigation was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

Sources: Deadspin, SBNation