According to NCAA investigations, a female student-trainer helped a few student-athletes complete their coursework over a period of two football seasons. For this infraction, the NCAA is vacating all the wins from the 2012-2013 (12-1) and 2013-2014 (9-4) Notre Dame football seasons, plus their appearance in the 2014 BCS game, plus other penalties.
The NCAA found that from 2012-2014, this student-trainer helped two football players with their homework. It is not yet known to what extent she helped them. During that same period, she helped six other football players with “academic assistance” in 18 different classes.
What’s more (Sordid Rumor Alert!), some people are commenting that she even did the football players’ homework so that she could have sex with them. Yes, at Notre Dame, not only will tutors do your homework, they’ll also sleep with you for the privilege. But again, that’s not proven or fact. Here’s the description from the official NCAA investigation findings:
During two academic years, the former student trainer and two football student-athletes engaged in academic misconduct when the former student trainer completed coursework for the student-athletes. These student-athletes, in addition to a third football student-athlete, also committed academic misconduct individually. The university determined the three student-athletes violated its academic integrity policies. The misconduct resulted in the student-athletes playing while ineligible — one student-athlete during the 2012-13 season and the other two student-athletes during the 2013-14 season.
The former student trainer also provided impermissible academic assistance to six additional football student-athletes in a total of 18 classes. She provided the assistance while she attended the university and a year after she graduated. Two of the student-athletes violated the university’s academic integrity policies. The remaining four student-athletes were not enrolled at the time the violations were discovered, so they were not subject to the university’s policies.
It sounds like a harsh penalty because it is, but let’s remember that Notre Dame didn’t win a National Title and that the NCAA “vacating” a win doesn’t mean that the football team didn’t actually win all those games.
- Public reprimand and censure for the university.
- One year of probation, from November 22, 2016, through November 21, 2017.
- A two-year show-cause order for the former student trainer from November 22, 2016, through November 21, 2018. During that time, any NCAA member school that hires her in an athletically related position must appear with her before a Committee on Infractions panel.
- A disassociation of the former student trainer from the university’s athletics program from November 22, 2016, through November 21, 2018. During this period, the university may not accept assistance in the recruitment of prospects or support of student-athletes from the former student trainer; may not accept donations to the athletics program from the former student trainer; may not extend athletics benefits or privilege to the former student trainer that is not generally available to the public; and must ensure the former student trainer is not involved in the university’s athletics program.
- A vacation of all records in which student-athletes participated while ineligible during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 football seasons.
- A $5,000 fine.
As a last little bit of information, I’m going to leave you with one Reddit user’s comment, which is actually a really good point. It’s about how this decision essentially tells schools not to punish their student-athletes in-house, but rather give them a slap on the wrist out of fear of bigger punishments.
I know there is enough ND haters out there that will love this but if you really care about CFB you should read about what is really going on here. This is student on student cheating that the university uncovered and suspended players for and then retroactively lowered the players grades for the periods they cheated in. The NCAA is now saying that since the university did that the players were ineligible for those years which is asinine. The NCAA is effectively telling all other universities that they should not punish conduct like this retroactively or the program will be punished. They are ultimately telling everyone it would have been better to just let it slide. Hopefully this is overturned. There is absolutely no way for a university or program to prevent every issue but what you want is for them to police it themselves and punish players for bad behavior which is exactly what happened here. Makes no sense to do this when the program did what they were supposed to do [source].