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Kelly responds to Russell’s comments, hearings

| Thursday, October 2, 2014

Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday evening he expects the academic hearings process to be wrapped up within 24 hours for the five players who have been withheld from practice and competition.

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.”

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.”

KeiVarae RussellObserver
KeiVarae Russell
Nearly seven weeks after Notre Dame’s announcement, Russell took to social media to express his frustration with the process.

“Just think about how mad these people are going to be when they realize they couldn’t hold me down,” Russell wrote in an Instagram post. “When all my dreams still become fulfilled. When I use them for a degree. When I come back and dominate the NCAA.”

Russell also wrote he believes his hearing “went well.”

“[I] was able to express my case from my [point of view] and bring to light [a lot] of what was false ‘evidence,’” the post read.

Kelly said Thursday he feels for Russell and his current situation.

“I can certainly understand how he could be frustrated, but hopefully we’re nearing an end here,” Kelly said of Russell. “And we’re hoping that we get him back soon. Again, I think for all those guys I’m sure it’s pretty close for them to be able to say, ‘This is going to be behind us here real soon.’”

Asked if he is frustrated with the timeline of the investigation, Kelly instead empathized with his players.

“I feel bad for them,” he said. “I guess that’s the feelings that I have. They’re missing a significant amount of playing time. That’s hard to give up.”

Kelly said based on second- and third-hand information, he expects a decision some time next week.

Notre Dame hosts Stanford 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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