Notre Dame has ruled junior running back Greg Bryant academically ineligible to play this season. Though he didn’t elaborate on why Bryant will miss all of 2015, head coach Brian Kelly made the announcement in a statement Tuesday.
"There are certain expectations within our program that must be met on a daily basis," Kelly’s statement read. "Quite simply, Greg did not meet those expectations."
Bryant was the Fighting Irish’s second-leading rusher last season with 289 yards and three touchdowns, but was also facing a four-game suspension for violation of team rules earlier this summer.
Bryant’s father, Greg Bryant Sr., told Irish Illustrated the reason for the suspension was academics.
“He’s coming back as a student, having nothing to do with athletics,” Bryant Sr. said. “Of course I’m trying to influence him, but he needs to show he can stay at Notre Dame and is capable. He needs to take care of business at Notre Dame.”
Bryant Sr. also said his son needed a B+ grade during summer school but received a B-.
Bryant is still on scholarship and allowed to practice with the team, but he won’t report to Notre Dame’s training camp starting in two days. Missing a full season is yet another blow for the former five-star recruit who has yet to live up to his talent level. Bryant was already getting reps with the third-team during spring practices, and seemed likely to lose his spot in the rotation to senior receiver C.J. Prosise.
The Irish still have leading rusher and junior Tarean Folston, who totaled 889 yards and six touchdowns for the nation’s No. 70 rushing attack last year, and now incoming freshman Josh Adams and Dexter Williams can make a play for a spot in the rotation.
Notre Dame finished 8-5 last season, but were expected to improve in Kelly’s sixth year as head coach, earning the No. 11 preseason ranking in USA Today’s first coaches poll released last week.
The Irish start the season with a home game against Texas on Sept. 5.