Notre Dame must vacate football wins after academic violations by trainer

Tom Hinde

The NCAA ordered the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to vacate 12 wins from the 2012 season and nine more from 2013. The football program was also levied a year of probation and a $5,000 fine. The penalties were assessed after the NCAA discovered academic misconduct. The misconduct stems from an investigation into a student trainer who worked in Notre Dame's athletics department. The investigation found the student trainer completed substantial academic work for two football players and provided impermissible academic benefits to six others.

The NCAA findings mark the fourth time Notre Dame has been cited for major rules violations. Notre Dame was 12-1 in 2012 and appeared in the BCS championship game against Alabama losing 42-14. In 2013, the Irish finished 9-4.

The school officials said they will appeal the penalties, saying it is being punished for suspending the players from school and changing their grades while investigating the case instead of expelling them. University President Rev. John Jenkins said the NCAA has previously only vacated victories when schools had "direct involvement or knowledge of a coach or academic personnel being involved. The school said that wasn't the case here.