SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell posted a message on social media Friday saying he will not play football this season and will likely miss the spring semester.
“Though disappointed in the decision the school has just recently made after 2 longs months of waiting for a decision to come, I accept it and will make sure I spend my time away efficiently,” Russell wrote in the posting on Instagram.
Notre Dame spokesman Michael Bertsch confirmed the posting was from Russell. Russell didn’t reply to telephone messages or texts from The Associated Press.
Russell, who was expected to be one of the team’s top players, and four other players have been held out of practices and games since August while the university determined if they were involved in academic dishonesty. The university announced on Aug. 15 it was investigating whether Russell, receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams, linebacker Kendall Moore had turned in papers and homework completed by others. Defensive back Eilar Hardy was added two weeks later.
University spokesman Paul Browne issued a statement Sunday saying the school would inform the players about the results of honesty committee hearings but would not be publicly disclosing those decisions. He said it would be up to the players to decide whether to disclose the decisions.
Russell is the first to comment. He wrote that he plans to return to school in June stronger mentally and physically and that he will be “ready to make history during the 2015 season!”
Coach Brian Kelly said after practice Thursday that he didn’t have firsthand knowledge of the status of all five players.
“Let’s assume that somebody, or one of the five has been dismissed from school, they may want to talk to their families and figure out what their game plan is,” Kelly said. “I think we all know that we’re at that point that decisions are being made, or have been made, and I don’t have all the answers. All I know is, as the football coach, they’re not practicing.”