Posted by John Taylor, College Football Talk
In the words of noted Irish fan Homer Simpson, “Notre D’oh!”
With speculation bubbling just below the surface for weeks, Bruce Feldman of FOXSports.com reported Friday that four players — wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams — have been dismissed from the football program. According to Feldman as well as Yahoo! Sports‘ Pat Forde, all four were dismissed amidst academic fraud allegations.
The school is conducting an internal investigation, which triggered the dismissals. While the situation is not yet an NCAA one, the school is keeping The Association apprised of the findings.
An announcement from the university is expected at some point today. For what it’s worth, all four players are still listed on ND’s online roster.
All three of the defensive players are starters or significant contributors, while Daniels is a starter on the other side of the ball, so the dismissals will have a significant and potentially devastating impact on the Irish moving forward.
Russell, a true junior, has started all 26 games during his two years in South Bend. A freshman All-American in 2012, Russell finished fifth in tackles last season, tops among all defensive backs. His work in pass coverage is superb, as evidenced by the fact that he led all Irish players in passes broken up (eight) and passes defensed (nine).
Russell is the only non-senior in the group.
Daniels’ 49 catches for 795 yards and seven touchdowns were all second on the team last season. He had been ND’s leading returning receiver.
This is not the first bit of academic trouble Daniels has run into recently. In January of this year, Daniels didn’t enroll in classes for the spring semester due to academic concerns. He was readmitted in May.
Williams has played in 24 games the past two seasons and is a starter this season, while Russell has played in all 39 games the past three seasons after redshirting as a true freshman.
Everett Golson, who started at quarterback during the Irish’s run to the BCS title game, suspended from the university for cheating on a final exam. He was reinstated in December of last year after missing the entire 2103 season, and was named the starting quarterback Thursday.