Notre Dame WR DaVaris Daniels breaks his silence

Bob Wieneke
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame senior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, one of five Irish being held out of practice and games because of an academic investigation at the school, told ESPN.com that the situation makes him “feel like a villain.”

“We’d go out to eat together, and people want to talk about the situation,” Daniels said. “What do you say?”

Irish coach Brian Kelly said Thursday that hearings for the five are expected to take place next week, but Daniels said the length of the probe and the school’s lack of communication has been unfair.

“If they had enough evidence, you’d think it’d be over by now,” Daniels told ESPN.com. “Nothing should take this long. That’s just my opinion.”

Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore have been held out since Aug. 15. Safety Eilar Hardy has been withheld since Aug. 29. The five remain on scholarship.

“We’ve probably talked to one person every week and a half, if anything – the length is the worst part,” Daniels said. “We go on campus and we don’t know exactly what the professors thing. Maybe it’s not that bad but it feels that way sometimes. We see our teammates on campus but aren’t part of the team. It’s rough.”

ESPN.com reported that Daniels’ family has discussed its right and whether legal action may ensue. He also said he has had no interaction with the NCAA.

“We don’t really feel we have options,” Daniels said. “We don’t really have any power here. … If they keep dragging it out like this, then something’s going to happen. I don’t know that.”

Daniels said he spoke with a university attorney for about an hour on Aug. 15. He also said he first heard about the investigation on Twitter.

Daniels said he has heard from a few assistant coaches and talked once with Kelly. He said the players were encouraged by an assistant to “stay off the grid,” but were not told to keep silent.

Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels is one of five Irish players who have been barred from practice and games during an investigation into suspected academic dishonesty. (AP File Photo)