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Report: Irish await ruling

Notre Dame officials anticipate a ruling from the NCAA that the school's program has committed a major violation of the organization's rules, according to a published report.

They expect the NCAA's Committee on Infractions to determine that members of the athletic department should have done more to learn of gifts players received from convicted embezzler Kim Dunbar, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

Dunbar embezzled more than $1.2-million from the South Bend firm where she worked as a bookkeeper, providing players, their families and friends with more than $35,000 in gifts and trips. Her admission she gave money to players led to the investigation.

The committee was expected to maintain that Dunbar's gifts could have been discovered earlier had members of then-coach Lou Holtz's staff brought information to Notre Dame officials in charge of NCAA compliance, the Tribune reported.

Mike Enright, a spokesman for the university's sports department, said the school will not respond until the NCAA releases its findings.

The Tribune also reported Notre Dame would not necessarily appeal a major violation, choosing instead to place the episode in its past.

FLORIDA STATE: Although temperatures were in the low 90s, the Seminoles were spared sauna-like humidity for their first two full-squad practices.

"It went well (today), of course the weather made it excellent," coach Bobby Bowden said. "If it had been terribly hot, it would have been rough. You could get things done. If it's too hot, it's hard to get something done."

Bowden said QB Chris Weinke, recovering from neck surgery that ended his season early last year, had a good day throwing the ball in the first two full-squad practices.

Quarterback-turned-fullback Dan Kendra, coming back after knee surgery, practiced only during the 2{-hour morning session. OL Jason Whitaker, who injured a foot during Friday's 1{-mile run, was held out of practice. He rode the stationary bike . . . Bowden continued an annual tradition, having the senior class over to his home for dinner after the first practice. "I just hope they save me some ice cream," he said.

NO BEER BARREL: Less than one year after a fatal alcohol-related truck crash involving two Kentucky players, Tennessee and Kentucky have discontinued using a beer barrel as the trophy for their rivalry. Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton said he and Tennessee athletic director Doug Dickey made the decision to stop the 74-year-old tradition. The annual display was canceled before last season's game out of respect for the victims of the crash one week earlier that killed Kentucky player Arthur Steinmetz and Eastern Kentucky student Scott Brock. Kentucky C Jason Watts, the driver and survivor of the wreck, had a blood-alcohol content 1{ times the legal limit.

SMU: On the same day former Mustang Eric Dickerson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, those connected with the school struggled to digest news of an investigation into alleged irregularities involving a defensive line coach who was suspended on Friday. "It is an absolute shock," said Robert Folsom, a booster and co-captain of the late 1940s Mustangs teams. "We're coming out of the pits and it's so hard to believe someone would do something like that knowing the problems we've had."

TCU: DBs Jerome and Jerrod Braziel didn't qualify academically and don't plan to enroll until January. LB LaMarcus McDonald also is not academically eligible, but will be admitted as a partial qualifier, meaning he can practice with the team.

ARIZONA STATE: WRs Justin Taplin and Joey Graves were suspended for the season. Coach Bruce Snyder declined to specify their violations.

_ Staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.

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