Back when I did the HLS prediction post this past Friday, we knew that KeiVarae Russell told the team that he was done for the 2014 season as a result of the academic investigations that have been underway since August. Russell stated that he would return in 2015 and Brian Kelly stated that Ishaq Williams relayed the same information to him when asked in today’s presser for the weekly Marooned Five update.
That update, however, was provided after Kelly was asked about DaVaris Daniels’ status and this tweet from his father:
Kelly simply replied that he hadn’t seen any tweets, which is likely as this happened less than ten or so minutes before his presser.
The mention of “#HeIsNDNoMore” in conjunction with the mention of DaVaris being “done at Notre Dame” implied that Daniels would either be transferring elsewhere or that it was time for a move to the NFL. Phillip has made no bones in regards to how he’s felt about Notre Dame, leading to many polarizing comments that could fill an entire #HLSRecap.
Soon after his dad’s tweet, DaVaris looked to extinguish some of the potential flames:
Not looking to transfer. ND was my team. ND is where my heart was. Unfortunately my time here is done, ready for my future.
— DaVaris Daniels (@SincerelyToot) October 14, 2014
Soon after that, even Phillip seemed to be changing his tune:
I know it’s dangerous to read between the lines of 140 character statements, but there has always been a feeling that Phillip and DaVaris’ had some conflicting thoughts on the process. While both maintained DaVaris’ innocence and frustration with the length of the investigation, DaVaris never seemed to “poke the bear” with repeated criticisms of Notre Dame as his father did. The timing of the tweets practically reads as “hey, dad, calm down, you’re burning a bridge I might need later.”
While judgement has been passed down on these three, it is important to note that we still don’t know the full extent of the judgement. Further, there is a good chance that we never will due to FERPA. We will only get what the players decide to tell us.
This could be anything from copying a paper, to having a very poor understanding that paraphrasing someone else’s work isn’t kosher, to trusting someone to “edit” their papers and not realizing (or caring) that those papers were now too similar for comfort, or even knowingly taking part in a much larger ring of academic fraud. The only thing we know is that the University believed they had enough evidence of an honor code violation and it is serious enough to warrant academic suspensions for at least a semester.
We are still awaiting word from Eilar Hardy and Kendall Moore; however, there is little doubt that, from a football perspective, these were the three biggest concerns of the five. Based on the silence from those two, it is quite likely that they decided to appeal and are awaiting that decision.
I certainly hope that Daniels learns from this (second) experience and is able to find success whether it is with the Irish in 2015, the NFL, or even elsewhere. Thankfully, Russell and Williams want back in which I think speaks volumes about Kelly and how he runs the program at Notre Dame–RKGs indeed, despite their stumbles.
As for this Saturday, just as it has been for the first six games of the season, next man in.
Post-publishing Addendum: I forgot to mention that Kelly also said that vacating wins, the other unknown in this case, remains just that. Kelly mentioned that it hadn’t been discussed yet, so there is no word at this time whether or not it was determined that any of the five played while ineligible due to any matter related to this investigation.
UPDATE [5:23 PM]: Kendall Moore has received his verdict as well and his career at ND has now come to an end.
— Observer Sports (@ObserverSports) October 14, 2014