KeiVarae Russell will miss 2014 season, plans to return for 2015
Mike Monaco | Friday, October 10, 2014
Irish cornerback KeiVarae Russell will not play this season and will most likely miss the spring semester before returning in June 2015, the junior said in an Instagram post Friday evening.
“Though disappointed in the decision the school has just recently made after [two] long months of waiting for a decision to come, I accept it and will make sure I spend my time away efficiently,” Russell wrote.
Russell’s announcement follows an NBCSports.com report that said Russell will not play in 2014.
A source told The Observer Russell addressed his teammates at Thursday’s practice inside Notre Dame Stadium.
Russell spoke to his teammates and hugged players and coaches, the source said.
After addressing the team, Russell watched the rest of practice from the sideline with Irish Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick, the source said.
Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday evening following practice none of the five withheld players practiced and they will be unavailable this weekend.
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.
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 confirmed Friday the five players are still enrolled in the University.
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 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.”
The Irish square off with North Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.