Brian Kelly says the Honor Code hearings involving five Notre Dame football players under investigation for possible academic dishonesty have not begun but he expects that they will very soon.
Kelly was asked Thursday if the players are cleared how long it would take for them to be ready for game action considering none of the five have been in practice or team meetings for three weeks now.
"If i got them back tomorrow, they'd play Saturday," Kelly said Thursday night. "I could get them ready--like right away. They are physically conditioned. They are working out with Coach Longo. They are conditioned and they have been going to class---I know that. Other than they haven't been taking any football reps but if we were hypothetically to get that call, they would be running out of the tunnel on Saturday."
Notre Dame and Michigan will kickoff at 7:42pm Saturday night in the final scheduled meeting between the two sides. The investigation itself involving cornerback KeiVarae Russell, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams, linebacker Kendall Moore and safety Eilar Hardy ended last Thursday.Now everyone is awaiting word from the university's Honor Code committee.
Kelly says he has no expectations on a timetable for the honor code process.
"I haven't woken up in the morning going 'is this the day?'" Kelly explained. "I have dealt with this situation when I first heard of it with maybe blinders on in that I'm focused on the guys that I have. I miss the guys, i care about them but I really have a responsibility to the guys on my team so I've really stayed focused on them and coaching the hek out of them and I hope that doesn't come across as callous but I really haven't woken up saying 'is this the day.' I really haven't."
Kelly says he has remained in contact with the five players via text message to be sure they have everything they need. He says the guys have their four tickets to the game and were in the stands for the Rice game.