Notre Dame placed on probation by NCAA, fined $5,000

Jan 1, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly looks on in the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Rose Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA put Notre Dame on probation and fined the Fighting Irish $5,000 for multiple minor recruiting violations, the Committee on Infractions announced Thursday.

The NCAA also handed out a few minor recruiting restrictions as well.

“Any violation of NCAA rules is unacceptable and Notre Dame takes full responsibility for its actions in this regard,” Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “While we made clear to the NCAA that our view that the agreed-upon penalties exceeded the nature of the infractions, we accept the final outcome of the case.”

The penalties stem from a former assistant coach’s impermissible off-campus contact with a high school player in 2019 and his impermissible text messages to a different 2021 recruit, and coach Brian Kelly’s impermissible contact with a recruit in October 2019. In that case, Kelly posed with the player for a photo in Pickerington, Ohio.

Notre Dame and the committee agreed to the penalties through the NCAA’s negotiated resolution process.

The former assistant, who also sent the impermissible texts, was fired by ND in January 2020. He was given a show-cause through July 2021.

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The assistant, per the ruling, “met privately with the prospect at his high school before July 1 after the completion of his junior year of high school. During that meeting, the former assistant coach expressed the school’s interest in recruiting the prospect. The former assistant football coach also had exchanged impermissible text messages with another prospect on 10 occasions.”

According to the report, the assistant mistakenly thought the recipient of his text messages was a 2020 recruit instead of an actual 2021 prospect.

The recruiting restrictions meted out include reduced football official visits for the 2020-21 academic year by one, reduced football unofficial visits by 14 days for the 2020-21 academic year, and a seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football staff during the 2020-21 academic year.

Notre Dame’s football program finished this past season with a 10-2 record, losing to Alabama in the CFB Playoff Semifinal.

–Field Level Media