Sports

NCAA upholds ruling that Notre Dame will vacate wins

NCAA upholds ruling that Notre Dame will vacate wins

"We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University's appeal, announced today by the NCAA, of an earlier decision by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions to vacate Notre Dame's 2012 and 2013 football victories due to academic misconduct by several student-athletes", part of the statement read.

The appeals committee said in its report that the committee on infractions did not abuse its discretion when it determined the student trainer was an institutional employee.

"To impose a severe penalty for this retroactive ineligibility establishes a risky precedent and turns the seminal concept of academic autonomy on its head". Jenkins said that had Notre Dame merely expelled the students instead of recalculating grades, had a statute of limitations for past offenses or chose not to punish the students, an NCAA penalty would not have been imposed.

Notre Dame violated NCAA rules when a former Fighting Irish student athletic trainer committed academic misconduct for two football players and provided six other players with impermissible academic extra benefits.

Along with the lost wins, the Division I Committee on Infractions panel previously announced punishments that included a year of probation and a $5,000 fine for the university based on findings the trainer completed course work for two student-athletes, while a third committed separate individual misconduct.

"In this case, the University acknowledged the academic misconduct impacted the eligibility of student-athletes and resulted in student-athletes competing while ineligible", the NCAA stated in a press release.

On Tuesday, the NCAA's Infractions Appeal Committee rejected the university's appeal, prompting a lengthy statement from the university's president, the Reverend John I. Jenkins.

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As the academic violations came to light and were self-reported by Notre Dame in 2014, the Irish suspended five then-current players: DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, Ishaq Williams and KeiVarae Russell.

The university also argued that the penalty is excessive since there was no university involvement or knowledge of the academic conduct.

Former Irish wide receiver DaVaris Daniels carries the ball upfield during Notre Dame's 37-34 win over Arizona State on October 5, 2013, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Still, the biggest problem with vacating wins in college sports is that the losses aren't removed from the record book, only the wins.

"The Committee simply failed to provide any rationale why it viewed the student-worker as an institutional representative in our case", Jenkins wrote.

This is just the latest example of why vacating wins is one of the dumbest things the NCAA does (and that's saying something).

Thus, a team that was 9-4 during a season in which it fielded ineligible players - a la Notre Dame in 2013 - would have its record revised to 0-4. This ruling was originally handed down in November of 2016. The notion that a university's exercise of academic autonomy can under NCAA rules lead to exoneration-or to a severe penalty-without regard to the way in which it is used defies logic and any notion of fundamental fairness.