Notre Dame football violates NCAA contact rules

Published 12:42 pm Thursday, January 21, 2021

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University of Notre Dame announced Thursday morning that the football team had violated recruiting contact rules.

Notre Dame, a former assistant coach and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the former coach had impermissible contact with a prospect when he met privately with the contact at his high school before July 1 after the completion of his junior year, the NCAA said in its report.

The former assistant coach also had exchanged impermissible text messages with another prospect on 10 occasions.

The case also involved a level III recruiting violation involving head football coach Brian Kelly. The level III violation was after initially declining a request, the head football coach impermissibly posed for a photo with another prospect while visiting the prospect’s high school during the fall evaluation program.

Notre Dame and the NCAA used its negotiated resolution process, which is used instead of a formal hearing or summary disposition because the university, the involved coaches and the enforcement staff agreed on the violations and the penalties. The Division I Committee on Infractions reviewed the case and whether or not the agreed-upon penalties were reasonable, which it did.

Here is the list of penalties that were approved by the committee:

  • One year of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine.
  • A six-month show-cause order for the former assistant football coach, including a one-game suspension at any employing member school.
  • Reduced football official visits for the 2020-21 academic year by one.
  • Reduced football unofficial visits by 14 days for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football staff during the 2020-21 academic year.
  • The university ended the recruitment of the prospect.
  • The university will not recruit any prospects from the high school in Seattle from the 2019-20 through 2021-22 academic years.
  • If an opportunity to serve a penalty will not be available due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the penalty must be served at the next available opportunity.

While Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick felt the penalties were harsher than the violations, he said the school would abide by the NCAA’s ruling.

“Any violation of NCA rules is unacceptable, and Notre Dame takes full responsibility for its actions in this regard,” he said. “While we made clear to the NCAA our view that the agreed-upon penalties exceeded the nature of the infractions, we accept the final outcome of the case. In addition, the assistant coach involved is no longer employed by the university.”