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Brian Kelly discusses five withheld players

| Friday, October 10, 2014

Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday evening none of the team’s five withheld players practiced, and they will all be unavailable this weekend.

KeiVarae RussellWei Lin / The Observer
KeiVarae Russell
Kelly said he did not have any specific information to share with reporters.

“I’m hearing some things, but I’m going to let them share any information they have with you,” Kelly said.

Irish junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell, senior receiver DaVaris Daniels, senior defensive end Ishaq Williams, graduate student linebacker Kendall Moore and senior safety Eilar Hardy have been held out of practice and competition during the probe into “suspected academic dishonesty.”

Irish Illustrated, citing two unnamed sources, reported Wednesday evening the five players “are all unlikely to play for Notre Dame this season.” The Chicago Tribune, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reported Thursday the five players are “unlikely to play the rest of the season.”

Asked if he expects to have any of the players back with the football team at any point this season, Kelly said he is “not certain on all of them.”

“I couldn’t comment on all five,” Kelly said. “And I don’t have anything specific to tell you one way or the other.”

Kelly said Tuesday that he was told Monday “a decision or decisions [on the players’ fates] were imminent.” Kelly said Thursday it’s possible the appeals process is one reason for the lack of shared information.

“I don’t have any concrete finality on any of the five,” Kelly said.

Notre Dame released a statement Sunday saying the University will not publicly disclose decisions from the hearings and investigation.

“I don’t believe it’s my role to come before you and tell you where they are in the process,” Kelly said.

Kelly said he expects there to be a range of outcomes among the five players.

Notre Dame announced its investigation Aug. 15. The University said “evidence that students had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others” was initially detected at the end of the summer session and referred to the compliance office in athletics July 29. Notre Dame said the Office of General Counsel then initiated “an immediate investigation.”

Notre Dame confirmed Thursday evening the five players are still enrolled at the University.

The Irish square off with North Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

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About Mike Monaco

Senior Sports Writer Mike Monaco is a senior majoring in Film, Television and Theatre with a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy as well as Business Economics. The O’Neill Hall native hails from the Boston area and is an aspiring play-by-play broadcaster.

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