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The 4 wildest things about the NCAA vacating Notre Dame’s 2012 and 2013 wins

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There’s a lot going on in the NCAA appeals committee ruling.

North Carolina State v Notre Dame Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The NCAA appeals committee has ruled on Notre Dame’s appeal of a 2016 decision handed down by the organization’s Committee On Infractions. It has to do with ineligible players and has resulted in wins from both the 2012 and 2013 season being vacated.

In the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions’ decision, the panel found a former Notre Dame athletic training student violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when she committed academic misconduct for two football student-athletes and provided six other football student-athletes with impermissible academic extra benefits. The panel prescribed the vacation of records, along with a probation period and a show-cause order for the former athletic training student.

The biggest thing ND loses here is a shot at the all-time lead in FBS win percentage.

Notre Dame and Michigan open the 2018 season in South Bend. Notre Dame’s all-time winning percentage previously was .7288, and Michigan’s was .7291.

But since there are no ties in college football anymore, a win by the Irish on Sept. 1 would have bumped their percentage up to .7296 and Michigan’s down to .7286. Not anymore. By nixing 21 wins between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the decision drops ND to 885 wins all-time, and a .7123 all-time win percentage. That’s also behind Ohio State, Boise State, Oklahoma and Alabama, for sixth all-time among FBS programs.

This is perhaps a big reason why the only thing Notre Dame disputed in regards to their appeal was the wins.

But in a letter released by Notre Dame on Tuesday, president John Jenkins also elaborated about broader academic autonomy concerns that are disputed in rhetoric alone.

We are deeply disappointed by and strongly disagree with the denial of the University’s appeal, announced today by the NCAA, of an earlier decision by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to vacate Notre Dame’s 2012 and 2013 football victories due to academic misconduct by several student-athletes. Our concerns go beyond the particulars of our case and the record of two football seasons to the academic autonomy of our institutions, the integrity of college athletics and the ability of the NCAA to achieve its fundamental purpose.

There are also multiple humorous things at play here as well.

Yes, it’s time to get these jokes off.

1. The ruling now means that Notre Dame is officially 0-4 in 2013 and 0-1 for the 2012 season.

Do you remember that one loss in 2012, because you should. The final score: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14. I will allow my colleague Jason Kirk’s postgame summary of the game to jog your memory.

Alabama beat the shit out of Notre Dame. I really don’t know any more appropriate way to put it.

It was 28-0 at the half, 35-0 before the Irish scored and 42-14, the final score, when Alabama pulled its starters. (It was probably like 7-0 when Bama fans started lining up for championship T-shirts.) The Tide demolished Notre Dame up and down the box score, dominating the eyeball test and score sheet from start to finish. It was ugly, unfair and hard to watch without feeling bad for the Irish -- and that’s insane to say about one of the most esteemed programs in the country. The only real competition: Barrett Jones and A.J. McCarron getting into a scuffle while up by 35.

That game is perhaps the most delicious peak Alabama performance of the Nick Saban era as the Tide took the Irish apart limb from limb from the opening whistle in Miami to win the national title.

2. The Manti Te’o fake girlfriend fiasco is now extra fake news.

Given that the NCAA is saying that the season never really actually happened, ND’s wins from that season are as real as Lennay Kekua in the history books.

3. There is also the general fact that NCAA’s enforcement staff is involved with this.

We also have to deal with the various inconsistencies inherent to the NCAA policing a member school — as Jenkins’ letter also notes.

And the vacation of wins is silly anyway because we all watched the games and remember the wins. Notre Dame played in all the games whether the NCAA acknowledges it or not.

But the NCAA appeals committee has ruled, and Notre Dame has lost. Their record in this case is 0-1, just like it is in the history books for the 2012 season.