The NCAA has denied Notre Dame's appeal of a decision to vacate 21 football victories because of academic misconduct, including all 12 wins from the school's 2012 national championship game run. In a letter to Notre Dame alumni, university president Fr. John Jenkins criticized the decision, saying the penalty was unprecedented considering who was involved in the misconduct, and that the school was being punished for rigorously enforcing its honor code. "We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University's appeal, announced today by the NCAA," Jenkins said in the letter. "To impose a severe penalty for this retroactive ineligibility establishes a dangerous precedent and turns the seminal concept of academic autonomy on its head. At best, the NCAA's decision in this case creates a randomness of outcome based solely on how an institution chooses to define its honor code; at worst, it creates an incentive for colleges and universities to change their honor codes to avoid sanctions like that imposed here." He called the ruling unfair, referencing the recent North Carolina case in which the NCAA did not punish the school after an investigation of athletes taking irregular courses. Notre Dame agreed to accept certain NCAA findings and acknowledged cheating involving several football players and a student athletic trainer, but appealed only the penalty that vacated victories. The NCAA stripped Notre Dame of 21 victories, fined the school $5,000 and placed the school on one years' probation in November 2016 after finding academic misconduct orchestrated by the trainer. Notre Dame was the national runner-up during the 2012 season, losing to Alabama in the BCS title game and finishing with a 12-1 mark. The Irish went 9-4 in 2013.
NCAA denies Notre Dame appeal to reinstate wins from 2012-13 seasons
ESPN | Feb 13