“If doing the right thing means that you’ve got to put an asterisk next to these games, that’s fine with me,” he said. “We still beat Oklahoma. We still beat Wake Forest, we still beat all those teams, so you can put an asterisk next to it. If that makes you feel better, then that’s fine with me.”
He said he doesn’t believe he has any culpability in the case and has no reason to believe he won’t be back as Notre Dame’s coach next season.
“I think you guys are confusing this statement with the win-loss record,” said Kelly, whose struggling team has a 4-7 record ahead of Saturday’s game at
No. 12 USC. “A win-loss record is always under scrutiny at Notre Dame, and it should be. That’s part of it.”
The report doesn’t name the players involved, but stems from an investigation that began in August 2014 , when the university suspended defensive lineman Ishaq Williams, receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore and cornerback KeiVarae Russell, who weren’t allowed to play that season. The school later benched safety Eilar Hardy, who was allowed to return in midseason. Russell returned and played for the Irish last season. Quarterback Everett Golson was suspended for the fall 2013 semester for what he termed “poor judgment on a test.”
It was the first major NCAA violation for Notre Dame since 1999, when the school was placed on probation
and had two scholarships taken away because of the relationship between Irish players and former booster Kimberly Dunbar, who embezzled more than $1.2 million from her employer and then lavished the players with gifts, trips and money. The NCAA also lists two other major infractions : in 1971 for the improper administration of financial aid and in 1954 for improper tryouts.
If the NCAA erases all 21 Notre Dame victories, the Irish would fall from the school with the secondmost wins in NCAA history behind Michigan (935) to fifth place with 875. That would place them behind Texas (892), Nebraska (889), Ohio State (885) and tied with Alabama (875) heading into the game against the Trojans, where they are 17-point underdogs.