NCAA denies Williams’ appeal
Zach Klonsinski | Friday, August 28, 2015
Defensive lineman Ishaq Williams’ petition for another year of eligibility has been denied by the NCAA, Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday.
“We heard back from the NCAA on Ishaq Williams, and his appeal was denied,” Kelly said. “He will not compete for Notre Dame. This was his last chance at eligibility, and that was it.”
Williams, who was one of the five players suspended during the University’s investigation into academic dishonesty last season, returned to school when classes resumed Tuesday after clearing by Notre Dame. However, the NCAA rejected the Brooklyn, New York, native’s petition, ending his college career and throwing his future into uncertainty.
“He’s not going to be allowed to practice either,” Kelly said. “He has a locker, we’ll provide him with the opportunity to work out, and I know our assistant athletic director Chad Flenders had a conversation with him, and we’ll provide him with a facility here to do that. I think he’s going to get himself organized academically now that he has some finality with this. I think he is still maybe interested in pursuing the NFL. He’s figuring out what he wants to do.”
Kelly also said Williams had been prepared for this outcome and that he should still be able to finish his education at Notre Dame.
“Ishaq knew it was going to be an uphill fight there, but where he never wavered was coming back to school and getting his degree,” Kelly said. “The silver lining is that he is in school, and we’re very optimistic that he’ll be able to finish his degree here.”
Williams appeared in 35 games for the Irish in his first three seasons at the school, all of which came at outside linebacker, including all 13 games in 2012 during Notre Dame’s run to the BCS National Championship Game, recording a career-high 22 tackles.
Arguably his best single-game performance in an Irish uniform came in that 2012 season opener against Navy in Dublin, when he registered four tackles and forced a fumble, which was scooped up by teammate Stephon Tuitt and returned 77 yards for a touchdown in the 50-10 victory.