Apr 12, 2014; Notre Dame, IN, USA; The Notre Dame Leprechaun leads the Notre Dame Fighting Irish onto the field before the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame academic football probe merely a microcosm of NCAA's current woes

 

(Note: The following editorial reflects the opinion of the author, and does not necessary represent the thoughts of Daily Peninsula, FanSided or Notre Dame.)

News of the actions taken by Notre Dame against four football players can’t help but remind one of upcoming changes being made within the sport itself.

In just the past few months, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that players can unionize,  and eventually get paid.

Major Conferences benefit

In fact, the NCAA appears to be divorcing itself from the five major conferences—ACC, Big Ten, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC plus Notre Dame—by allowing themselves to write most of their own rules.

So why is there such an uproar at Notre Dame that four football players—who allegedly had  papers written for them,–would get suspended from practicing and playing upcoming games.

The question is simple. Why are the players being punished before due process is served? The answer: Should the players eventually be proven guilty of breaking Notre Dame’s honor code, the team (in an attempt to placate the NCAA) could retroactively vacate previous games for using ineligible players.

No one has been dismissed

During a Friday (Aug. 15) press conference, Father and university president John Jenkins clarified the situation.  “At this juncture, no one has been judged responsible for academic dishonesty, no one has been dismissed from the university, and no sanctions have been imposed, and no judgment has been made.”

“Sanctions”? A little paranoid? C’mon, it might take the NCAA 18 months to unravel this mess. And “no judgment”? If there has been no judgment, why are players beginning to defend themselves in the media?

He wrote all his papers 

CBS Sports College football Insider Jeremy Fowler quoted an unnamed source concerning “suspended” senior wide receiver DeVaris Daniels: “He (Daniels) said he wrote all his papers,” the source said. “They asked him about some emails and papers that he wrote. He told them what he knew.”

Junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell,  senior defensive end Ishaq Williams and grad student linebacker Kendall Moore are also banned from practice.

So here we are, trying four presumably “innocent until proven guilty” athletes in the media, and keeping them from playing without due process.

“Integrity is at the heart of our mission and academic misconduct will not be tolerated at Notre Dame,” adds Rev. Jenkins.

Seems to me it’s integrity, or the lack of it, that’s really the question.

Disagree? Please comment below to join the discussion. 

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Tags: Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football

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