VERNON HILLS, Ill. (WLS) --An investigation into academic cheating by Notre Dame football players is a serious blow to the school's chances on the field this season.
Two of the four players involved were expected to be major contributors on the field, including Davaris Daniels from Vernon Hills. The school stops short of saying the players are suspended, but they are not being allowed to practice or play in games.
The Vernon Hills High School team was busy preparing Friday afternoon for their first game against DeKalb in a couple weeks. None of these guys played with Davaris Daniels when he was a standout wide reciever here four years ago, but athletic director Brian McDonald remembers Daniels as a tremendous athlete who starred both on the football field and on the basketball team.
"Davaris was a great kid and a tremendous athlete for us at Vernon Hills High School," said McDonald.
Daniels comes from a football family. His father Philip played 15 years in the NFL for three teams, including the Bears. His son was the second leading receiver for Notre Dame last season and was expected to be a major contributor this season, his junior year. That was before Keivarae Russell, Daniels, Ishaq Williams, and Kendall Moore were all sent to the sidelines while the school investigates reported violations of the academic honor code.
"Let me emphasize something no one has been judged responsible for academic dishonesty, no one has been dismissed from the university and no sanctions have been imposed and no judgment has been made yet," said Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame president.
Daniels has had academic issues in the past. He was suspended last spring for reportedly failing to keep up his grades. He was reinstated, but now he's out while they investigate new alleged violations.
"Based on the investigation to date we reached a point where we concluded those four student athletes should be brought in and we should have a conversation with them as part of the investigation," said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame athletic director.
Eyewitness News tried to reach Daniels or his family for reaction on Friday. They did not respond. His father Philip, however, did send out a tweet Friday, saying, "I was always told believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see."