— The Sports Xchange —
The NCAA on Tuesday denied Notre Dame’s appeal of a decision to vacate 21 football victories because of academic misconduct, prompting the school’s president to show his displeasure in the form of a lengthy letter.
Rev. John Jenkins criticized the decision by saying that the school was being punished for enforcing its honor code after the Fighting Irish were forced to vacate their wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Notre Dame had accepted specific NCAA findings and acknowledged cheating involving several players and a student athletic trainer, but appealed the penalty to vacate victories.
“We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University’s appeal, announced today by the NCAA,” Jenkins wrote in the letter, which has been posted on Notre Dame’s website. “To impose a severe penalty for this retroactive ineligibility establishes a dangerous precedent and turns the seminal concept of academic autonomy on its head. At best, the NCAA’s decision in this case creates a randomness of outcome based solely on how an institution chooses to define its honor code; at worst, it creates an incentive for colleges and universities to change their honor codes to avoid sanctions like that imposed here.”
The NCAA said in November 2016 that its investigation found a former student athletic trainer “violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when she committed academic misconduct for two football student-athletes and provided six other football student-athletes with impermissible academic extra benefits.”
–Major college football attendance continued to decline in 2017.
As noted by CBSSports.com, attendance in FBS games dropped for the fourth consecutive season, according to data released by the NCAA, and the decline from 2016 to 2017 was the sharpest in 34 years.
Average attendance in FBS games at home sites and neutral sites, as well as postseason games, this past season was down by 1,409 people from 2016. Not since 1982 was there a bigger decline in average attendance.
Average FBS attendance in 2017 was 42,203, which is the lowest since 1997.
–Southern California extended the contracts of both its offensive and defensive coordinators, the school announced.
Terms and lengths of the extensions were not announced for either offensive coordinator Tee Martin or defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.
–USC wide receiver Joseph Lewis was arrested on a felony domestic battery charge, multiple outlets reported.
Lewis, 18, was charged with “corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant” due to visible injury to an alleged victim, according to a report from USCFootball.com. He could face up to four years in state prison if convicted or a $6,000 fine.
Lewis had four receptions for 39 yards in three games during his freshman season last year.
–Nearly two months after being arrested for drunk driving, Iowa safety Brandon Snyder formally pleaded guilty to the charge, according to TV station KCRG in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
As a result of the plea, Snyder will avoid jail time if he participates in a weekend program at a community college. He will also be fined $1,250.
Snyder was a starter at free safety throughout his sophomore season in 2016, but he tore his ACL in his left knee during spring practice a year ago and had surgery in April. He returned to play in the Oct. 7 game against Illinois, a game the Hawkeyes won 45-16. However, he suffered another torn ACL in that game that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
–Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie is leaving the school, multiple media outlets reported.
The move comes five days after new head coach Jeremy Pruitt officially announced his staff for the upcoming season.
Gillespie had been the lone holdover from the previous coaching staff to remain with Tennessee.