SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The NCAA announced Tuesday that it has ordered Notre Dame to vacate all 21 football victories from the 2012-13 seasons, including the 12-0 run that vaulted the Fighting Irish into the national title game against Alabama, because a former student athletic trainer committed academic misconduct by doing substantial course work for two players and impermissibly helped six others.
The school ripped the NCAA for its decision to strip the wins, which included the best season of coach Brian Kelly's tenure in charge of the storied program. The school said it would appeal and the Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, said the NCAA has never before vacated the records of a school that had no involvement in the underlying academic misconduct.
There were no bowl or scholarship punishments.
Kelly blasted the ruling and said he is confident he will return next season, even though his team is 4-7 heading into the final game of the season Saturday at USC.
"It's never happened before in the history of the NCAA; a penalty has never been issued in this fashion before," Kelly said. "This was a discretionary action by the committee. That's No. 1. No. 2, it was student-on-student cheating. There was nobody implicated. The NCAA agreed across the board with that finding. (The punishment) was clearly excessive."
Neither the NCAA nor Notre Dame named the players involved in the investigation that began in 2014.
RAPE ALLEGATION: A lawsuit recently filed by a Rutgers student alleges that she was sexually assaulted by two former Scarlet Knight football players last fall. The complaint states that Marques Ford (East Bay High) and John Bowers sexually assaulted the victim at an on-campus apartment on Nov. 14, 2015. The victim, a minor at the time, says she drank too much and was too incapacitated to give consent. Ford and Bowers were suspended from Nov. 19, 2015, and have since left the school. They weren't available for comment. Ford, a defensive end who is now at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi — along with former Nature Coast standout running back DeShawn Smith — recently committed to East Carolina.
AUBURN: Running back Kamryn Pettway is expected to play Saturday against Alabama after missing the past two games with a left leg injury. The status of quarterback Sean White remains uncertain with a right (throwing) shoulder injury.
USF FALLS AT FAU: USF gave up an 11-0 first-half run and never led again as host Florida Atlantic won 78-62. USF (2-2) tied it twice early in the second half, but the Owls (2-3) led by double digits for the final 13:09. The Bulls were outrebounded 48-31. Tulio Da Silva had 14 points and 10 rebounds for USF, and Geno Thorpe and Luis Santos added 11 points each. The Bulls next play against visiting Kennesaw State at 7 Monday.
No. 7 UVA 90, Grambling St. 34: Freshman guard Kyle Guy scored 20 points in 13 minutes, and the host Cavs (4-0) ended the first half with a 26-0 run.Guy was Mr. Basketball in Indiana last season.
Colorado 68, No. 22 Texas 54: George King had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Buffaloes past the Longhorns (3-2) in the third-place game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center in New York.
Morehead State: Fifth-year coach Sean Woods was suspended as the school investigates unspecified "complaints received" involving the former Kentucky standout player.
No. 2 UConn 98, Dayton 65: Katie Lou Samuelson put up a career high in points for the second consecutive game, scoring 29 as the host Huskies (4-0) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 79 games.
No. 3 South Carolina 93, St. Peter's 38: Alaina Coates scored 16 as the host Gamecocks (4-0) handed the Peacocks their 19th straight loss in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Challenge.
No. 16 uf 71, Ark. State 60: Eleanna Christinaki scored 23 and the Gators (4-0) ended the Red Wolves' 25-game home winning streak. Delicia Washington and Haley Lorenzen added 11 apiece for UF.