KeiVarae Russell's season over

ByMatt Fortuna ESPN logo
Friday, October 10, 2014

Suspended Notre Damejunior cornerbackKeiVarae Russell will not play this season, but he plans on returning to the Irish football team for the 2015 season.

Russell revealed his plans in a speech to the team before Thursday's practice, sources told initially reported that Russell would not play again this season.

"Though disappointed in the decision the school has just recently made after 2 long months of waiting for a decision to come," Russell posted on Instagram, "I accept it and will make sure I spend my time away efficiently."

Russell, who started all 26 games during his freshman and sophomore years, has been suspended from practices and games since Aug. 15, when the school announced it was investigating academic misconduct. Russell remains enrolled at Notre Dame, a school representative told

The status of Notre Dame's four other suspended players -- DaVaris Daniels, Ishaq Williams, Kendall Moore and Eilar Hardy -- remains unclear, with a source saying that not every player had received notification of his status as of Friday afternoon.

It also is unclear whether Russell has or will face any further discipline from Notre Dame's academic arm. Russell also said in his post that he'll most likely miss the spring semester but will be back at school in June.

"I want to ball with my brothers again and receive my college degree," he said.

Coach Brian Kelly said Thursday that he had limited information on the five players, other than that none have returned to practice for the sixth-ranked Irish and none would play Saturday against North Carolina. All five players have been welcome in the football complex, where they can dine with teammates and work out, Kelly said. The coach has withheld the players from team meetings.

Kelly did say Thursday that he believes there will be different outcomes for some of the players. He would not say for certain that some or all of were appealing whatever rulings that may have been decided this week, though he left that door open.

Notre Dame announced on Sunday that the hearings for the five were completed Oct. 3, and that any public announcements of the results of those hearings would come from the players themselves.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Russell had 109 total tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery last season. Florida graduate transfer Cody Riggs and sophomore Cole Luke have been the starting corners through five games for Notre Dame.

Russell is eligible to enter the 2015 NFL draft, though he does not appear to be considering it as an option at this point.

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