Notre Dame CB KeiVarae Russell out for 2014 season, will return in 2015

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

Notre Dame junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell, one of the five football players sidelined during an academic fraud investigation, announced Friday that he will miss the remainder of the 2014 season.

The announcement, which came as the caption of an Instagram video on Russell’s personal account, stated that he would return to the team in 2015.

“Though disappointed in the decision the school has just recently made after 2 long months of waiting for a decision to come, I accept it and will make sure I spend my time away efficiently,” Russell wrote. “I will not be playing this season and will most likely miss the spring semester as well, but regardless, I will be back at this University in June 2015 ready to go in the summer, and ready to make history during the 2015 season!”

Another of the five, linebacker Kendall Moore, who came back to Notre Dame for a fifth year this fall, was reached by the South Bend Tribune Friday afternoon and said he has not yet received a decision on his case, which was held last week.

"I still haven't heard anything, so I don't really have a comment yet." Moore said late Friday afternoon when reached via cell phone.

It's uncertain if Moore is in the midst of an appeal with Notre Dame's honor code committee.

It also is unclear at this time if Russell is still pondering whether to appeal to Notre Dame's honor code committee or chose not to appeal.

Students have seven days to file an appeal once their fate from the honor code committee is revealed.

Head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday that all five of the players, which also include wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and safety Eilar Hardy, were still not practicing with the team and won't play in Saturday's home game between the sixth-ranked Irish (5-0) and North Carolina (2-3).

A university spokesman confirmed Friday with the South Bend Tribune that all five players remained enrolled at Notre Dame.

Russell, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound cornerback from Everett, Wash., would be eligible to leave school for the 2015 NFL Draft if he so chose. He entered the 2014 season as an All-American candidate.

Russell’s complete post from Instagram can be read below:

“Though disappointed in the decision the school has just recently made after 2 long months of waiting for a decision to come, I accept it and will make sure I spend my time away efficiently. I will not be playing this season and will most likely miss the spring semester as well, but regardless, I will be back at this University in June 2015 ready to go in the summer, and ready to make history during the 2015 season! I want to ball with my brothers again and receive a college degree. I love everybody who has supported me during this prolonged process, and still continue to do so. Let me assure everyone that I will use this time to come back stronger mentally and physically. This hurdle won’t stop me from fulfilling my dreams. I am going to come back better than ever!! 7 months of constant training & work on my craft at Cornerback. I love my family, friends, fans and my team! I am going to come back as the best corner in college football. TRUST ME. Stay tuned with me on this journey! #RoadToSuccess #GoodluckToMyTeamThisSeason #VideoFromFreshmanYear”

Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell, right, aims to be the best cornerback in the country in 2015. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)