After a year of turmoil at Notre Dame, coach Brian Kelly admitted Thursday that all of his players are at-risk academically and that the university will do its best going forward to provide the resources necessary for players to succeed in the classroom.
"I think we recognized that all of my football players are at-risk -- all of them -- really," Kelly told Notre Dame Insider. "Honestly, I don't know that any of our players would get into the school by themselves right now with the academic standards the way they are. Maybe one or two of our players that are on scholarship.
"So making sure that with the rigors that we put them in -- playing on the road, playing night games, getting home at 4 o'clock in the morning, all of the demands that we place on them relative to the academics and going into an incredibly competitive academic classroom every day -- we recognize this is a different group. And we have to provide all the resources necessary for them to succeed and don't force them into finding shortcuts."
Five players --KeiVarae Russell,DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore and Ishaq Williams -- were suspended by the university last season amid an investigation into academic fraud. Quarterback Everett Golson, who has since transferred to Florida State, was suspended in 2013 because of what he deemed poor academic judgment.
According to Sports Illustrated, Kelly, university president John I. Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick met this offseason to discuss issues for student-athletes at Notre Dame.
"I think we've clearly identified that we need to do better," Kelly told Notre Dame Insider. "And we're not afraid to look at any shortcomings that we do have and fix them, and provide the resources necessary for our guys. Our university has looked at that, and we're prepared to make sure that happens for our guys."