Notre Dame's president ripped the NCAA's decision to deny the school's appeal to restore 21 vacated football victories from an academic misconduct violation, saying the association "perverted" the notion that universities determine how they police academics.
Notre Dame went to the BCS Championship Game following the 2012 season and went 9-4 in 2013.
"In academic misconduct cases, the penalty of vacation of team records has, until now, only been applied in the case of serious forms of institutional culpability: when coaches, administrators, or persons with academic responsibilities are complicit in cheating, or when an institution fails to monitor or lacks control over its athletics program", Jenkins later explained.
The misconduct resulted in the student-athletes playing while ineligible - one student-athlete during the 2012-13 season and the other two student-athletes during the 2013-14 season.
The university also argued that the penalty is excessive since there was no university involvement or knowledge of the academic conduct. Academic fraud strikes at the very heart of our educational mission and the values of Notre Dame. In addition to the vacated wins, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions handed down one year of probation, a two-year show-cause order and disassociation for the former trainer and a $5,000 fine for the school. The governing organization ruled that the student trainer was not simply a student but rather a "representative of the institution", according to its 2016 report.
The NCAA's Division I Infractions Appeals Committee upheld the November 2016 finding that the trainer had performed academic work for two football players and provided "impermissible academic extra benefits" to six others.
"We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University's appeal, announced today by the NCAA", Jenkins wrote, in part.
Cheryl Wray covers sports for the Alabama Media Group.
Texas and Notre Dame have a rich history. Notre Dame played in all the games whether the NCAA acknowledges it or not.
Unfortunately for MSU fans, Notre Dame's vacated win doesn't mean the Spartans can retroactively enter the title game. It appealed the decision because it believed the NCAA "has never before vacated the records of an institution that had no involvement in the underlying academic misconduct". If the Committee members chose to depart both from precedent and the position adopted by the NCAA membership, it was incumbent on them to offer an explanation.
"The notion that a university's exercise of academic autonomy can under NCAA rules lead to exoneration - or to a severe penalty - without regard to the way it which it is used defies logic and any notion of fundamental fairness", Jenkins said.