During the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the trainer completed coursework for two football players and gave "impermissible academic assistance" to six other players, according to the NCAA. A number of those players also committed academic misconduct individually by playing while ineligible.
As a result, the team is forced to vacate its wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Notre Dame went 12-1 in 2012, and eventually lost the BCS championship game to Alabama. In 2013, the Irish put up a 9-4 record. All 21 of those victories will be forfeited.
Head coach Brian Kelly plans to appeal the penalty, reports USA Today.
"It was a discretionary action by the committee," Kelly said. "It was student-on-student cheating. Nobody was implicated. The NCAA agreed across the board with that finding. And, [the punishment] was clearly excessive. So, as you know, we're going to appeal this. And one of the options or the clear reasons for the appeal is that the penalty is excessive in its discretion and we believe we have ground there."
The trainer has been disassociated from Notre Dame. A Division I Committee on Infractions panel handed the university a $5,000 fine in addition to public reprimand and censure.
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