Reserve safety Eilar Hardy will be held out of practices and games as part of the Notre Dame's investigation into potential academic dishonesty, a university spokesman confirmed Thursday evening. Hardy is the fifth player to be removed from team activities during the investigation.
Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams were removed from team activities Aug. 15 as part of the academic investigation. All five players will miss Saturday's season opener against Rice.
Hardy, a senior, wasn't listed on Notre Dame's two-deep at safety. The Irish still have Austin Collinsworth, Max Redfield, Elijah Shumate and Matthias Farley as well as Nicky Baratti at safety, which even with Hardy's absence is Notre Dame's deepest defensive position.
A native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Hardy played in 10 games in 2013 and started against Pitt and BYU. He totaled 26 tackles and helped make a game-saving stop on fourth down against Navy, a game Notre Dame won 38-34. He was suspended for Notre Dame's games against Purdue and Stanford for violating team rules.