SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame is still in the early stages of its investigation into academic dishonesty involving four members of the football team, but both university president John Jenkins, CSC, and athletic director Jack Swarbrick lent their support for coach Brian Kelly on Friday.
"I want to say right now we have great confidence in Brian and his staff and they have been nothing but helpful in our investigation," Jenkins said.
Swarbrick said Kelly and his coaching staff are not a part of the investigation right now, which currently has implicated wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore as well as "several" other students. Swarbrick added he doesn't anticipate any punitive action from the NCAA given the investigation hasn't uncovered any involvement in or knowledge of the academic dishonesty from coaches.
"We have no involvement of a member of the coaching staff, no transcript impropriety, those sorts of things," Swarbrick said.
[MORE: Four players implicated in Notre Dame academic investigation]
There is the possibility of Notre Dame having to vacate wins if it's determined a player participated in a game while committing an academic violation, though the investigation hasn't determined if that's the case and how far back these violations may go. If that's the case, a good chunk of the wins Notre Dame has seen under Kelly very well could be vacated.
Kelly said as recently as Wednesday Russell and Williams were penciled in as starters and said in his season-opening press conference Aug. 1 that all of his players were in good academic standing. Notre Dame's investigation began July 29.
Swarbrick informed Kelly on Thursday of the investigation and the statuses of the four players, and said the fifth-year coach was "devastated."
"But he was also quick to want to understand the process, how he and his staff could be of assistance in the process and how it would work," Swarbrick said, "and so that was quickly the focus of the discussion."