Bye week comes with activity for Notre Dame

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND -- Yes, last week was a bye week for the Notre Dame football team, but it wasn't one without activity.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday at his weekly press conference that the five players at the center of the academic fraud investigation are expected to have their hearings concluded by the end of next week. The five -- cornerback KeiVarae Russell, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams, linebacker Kendall Moore and safety Eilar Hardy -- are not allowed to practice or play in games while the investigation is ongoing.

Kelly was asked about the lengthy process, which was announced in August.

"We're probably going down a path that's never been gone down before," Kelly said.

On the field, the Irish depth chart released Tuesday in advance of Saturday's game against Syracuse, included a shuffling of the offensive line, which allowed four sacks in the Sept. 13 victory over Purdue.

Starting center Nick Martin is now listed as the starting left guard with Matt Hegarty taking over at center.

Christian Lombard, who did not play in the Purdue game because of an ankle injury, moves from right guard to right tackle, with right tackle Steve Elmer flipping inside to right guard.

And despite all of those changes, it's not written in ink.

"We're still in the process of figuring out what the best five are on the offensive line," Kelly said. "We haven't made a final decision on that. We're still in the process of trying to find the right five guys."

The constant? Ronnie Stanley remains as the starting left tackle.

In other depth chart doings, wide receiver Amir Carlisle, who suffered a knee injury during the Purdue game, is out this week and questionable for the following week against Stanford. Receiver Torii Hunter Jr., sidelined all year because of a groin tear, is expected to play Saturday. Safety Austin Collinsworth, who has not played because of a knee injury, is also expected to play this weekend.

The 3-0 and eighth-ranked Irish play the 2-1 Orange Saturday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The game kicks off at 8:14 (Eastern) and will air on ABC.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly claps on stage during the Notre Dame football pep rally Friday before hosting Rice. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)