As Notre Dame fans across the country were rocked on Friday by news of an investigation into academic dishonesty by student-athletes and students at the University, some of the Irish’s current 2015 commitments were also taken aback.
Irish Sports Daily reached out to some of the members of the current recruiting class and not surprisingly, their reactions ranged from surprise to concern for those involved to confidence that Notre Dame is strong enough to pull through this episode under head coach Brian Kelly’s leadership.
Perhaps one of the shortest responses, from wide receiver commit Jalen Guyton, summed it up best.
“That cheating ain’t nothing to mess with,” the Texas wideout said.
Some players expressed confusion over wide receiver DaVaris Daniels’ inclusion in the investigation given his recent suspension. Some declined to comment without knowing all of the facts while others were also hesitant to judge anybody from the outside before all of the facts have been presented.
“I think that sometimes dumb decisions are made, but that is no excuse for one to commit academic fraud in anyway,” offensive line commit Tristen Hoge said. “I don’t judge the players due that I don’t personally know them. Of course I know cheating is wrong. And I just think people would learn from (Everett) Golson’s mistake and take that to heart, but sometimes kids think they’re smarter than the professor.”
Kicker commit Justin Yoon expressed similar feelings.
“I mean looking at the situation, I really don’t know what to really say,” said Yoon. “The guys should have had full responsibility for their actions especially in the classroom, but then again it’s not an easy situation for me to just say that because I don’t know exactly what happened.
“I just hope that the team can recover from this mistake and work harder. Hopefully Coach Kelly can pull through and get the guys going and come out as one of the best teams again.”
None of the players we contacted expressed any feelings that the investigation would impact their commitment level in any way.
“Those actions were from young adults who failed to meet the standard that the university and coaches hold you to,” cornerback commitment Ashton White said. “You go to Notre Dame because you’re a part of the people who conduct themselves with academic honor in the classroom.
“They made a mistake, but it doesn’t affect how I feel. I’m still 100 percent committed and looking forward to doing great things at Notre Dame come my time.”
Like Guyton, defensive line commit Micah Dew-Treadway found a way to sum up a great deal with few words.
First with this text to Irish Sports Daily, “People make mistakes… God forgives… Life goes on.”
And later with this tweet, “We will rise up because we are ND.”