Notre Dame's appeal of an NCAA ruling that vacated 21 football victories, including 12 from the Fighting Irish's run to the national championship game after the 2012 season, has been denied by the Division I Infractions Appeals Committee.
The committee's decision was announced in a statement issued Tuesday by the NCAA.
The denial of Notre Dame's appeal was condemned by the university's president, Father John Jenkins, in a letter to Notre Dame alumni (via The Associated Press):
"We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University's appeal, announced today by the NCAA," Jenkins wrote, in part. "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 Division I Committee on Infractions previously found that Notre Dame football student-athletes, including an athletic training student, participated while ineligible during the 2012 and '13 seasons.
In its appeal, the university argued before the appeals committee that Notre Dame shouldn't have to vacate the 21 victories among the NCAA's other penalties.
In its decision, the appeals committee highlighted that "as a member of the NCAA, the university is subject to the Association’s rules, including those related to academic misconduct and the ability to impose penalties for academic misconduct violations. In this case, the university acknowledged the academic misconduct impacted the eligibility of student-athletes and resulted in student-athletes competing while ineligible. The appeals committee found the panel has the authority under NCAA rules to prescribe penalties for academic misconduct violations."
Jenkins, in his letter to alumni, didn't reference North Carolina by name but alluded to that school's long-running NCAA case as a "recent high profile academic misconduct case" as a basis for Notre Dame's argument that the victories shouldn't be vacated.
Notre Dame lost to Alabama in the BCS national championship after the 2012 regular season to finish 12-1 and then went 9-4 in 2013.
Source : http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/notre-dames-appeal-denied-21-football-victories-vacated-ncaa-panel-rules/ia11wcj1komb1tsioymlzptu6