Four Notre Dame football players have been dismissed from the program for the entire 2014 season.
Wide receiver Davaris Daniels, cornerback Keivarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore are no longer eligible to play football, and have been suspended from the university as well, due to academic misconduct. The story was first reported by Jake Foster at Chat Sports. Fox Sports Bruce Feldman later confirmed it.
According to sources, along with the suspensions, all of Notre Dame’s victories from 2012 will be vacated, with the wins from 2013 still up in the air. A university official admitted to helping the football players cheat over the past two years.
The academic misconduct was not related to Everett Golson’s situation, and it has been reported that he is not involved with this.
Obviously, this is a huge blow to the Notre Dame football program, and the university as a whole. Daniels had a breakout season in 2013 and looked to build on his chemistry with Golson. Russell was another key starter at an already weak position, depth wise. He had the potential to be one of the top cornerback’s in the country this season.
Williams was a very highly touted recruit coming into South Bend, and never truly blossomed into a player we all thought he could be. This season figured to be his breakout season. And while Moore wasn’t going to be a starter this season at linebacker, he figured to provide much leadership to a very young front seven.
Notre Dame will now rely heavily on players like Corey Robinson, Will Fuller, Justin Brent and Chris Brown on offense.
The defense will have to plug in Isaac Rochell in at defensive end, and Cody Riggs or Devin Butler seem first to see additional playing time in the defensive backfield.
What seemed like a tough season due to inexperience on defense and Golson coming back from a year off on offense, as well as the toughest schedule in the nation, just got a little bit tougher.
UPDATE: The four Notre Dame student-athletes (Davaris Daniels, Keivarae Russell, Kendall Moore & Ishaq Williams) have not been dismissed or suspended. They are not allowed to play or practice until the investigation is concluded.