Nov 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (center) waits to lead the Fighting Irish onto the field to play the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Report: As many as 22 students involved in academic fraud investigationi

Notre Dame dismissed four players, three of them starters from the Fighting Irish football team in the wake of an academic fraud scandal that could have devastating effects on the football program and university.

Junior KeiVarae Russell, senior Kendall Moore, senior DaVaris Daniels and fifth-year senior Kendall Moore reportedly had papers and work turned in that they did not complete. This was detected at the end of the summer session.

But it doesn’t just stop at those four players, according to 247Sports’ Notre Dame site Blue & Gold Illustrated that as many as 22 students from previous football teams could be involved in the investigation.

Notre Dame president John Jenkins would not confirm or deny other students are involved in the early stages of this investigation at a 5 p.m. press conference.

If the investigations reveals that the academic fraud dates back to the football season, Notre Dame would voluntarily vacate the wins during that period.

“Integrity is at the heart of our mission and academic misconduct will not be tolerated at Notre Dame,” said Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins. “If the suspected improprieties are proven, we will use the experience to reinforce among our students the importance of honesty in all that they do. We are also examining ways of better conveying to students that they can avail themselves of legitimate academic assistance without resorting to cheating.”

If this academic fraud scandal is anything like what happened at North Carolina a few years ago under the watch of Butch Davis, this could be a scandal that impacts the football program for years to come if the NCAA imposes a bowl ban, reduces scholarships and rules more players ineligible.

Tags: Brian Kelly Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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