As if the Irish choking away a potential season-changing upset of No. 3 Ohio State wasn't enough the Notre Dame basketball program found out Sunday that the team's leading scorer in Jerian Grant was no longer enrolled at the University.
The senior with a fifth-year of eligibility still left was having a much improved season averaging 19 points and 6.2 assists while shooting 51.8% from the field and 40.8% from 3-point land. His dismissal for the remaining 2013-14 year was due to an academic matter.
Here's the full statement from Grant released by und.com:
To the Notre Dame Community:
It is with regret and sorrow that I inform you that I am no longer enrolled at the University of Notre Dame due to an academic matter that I did not handle properly. As a result, I am no longer part of the basketball program and will not be on the court competing with my teammates for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.
I take full responsibility for my lack of good judgment and the poor decision that I made. I have no one to blame but myself for the situation. I know and understand the expectations that go with being a student at Notre Dame and I did not live up to those standards.
My parents have always stressed the importance of a great education and I was on schedule to graduate in May 2014 with my degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Letters. Upon graduation from DeMatha Catholic High School, my selection of Notre Dame was more than just a basketball decision. I made the choice to be a student-athlete at this University because of the impact a Notre Dame education and degree would have on my professional career.
Most importantly, I have established myself as a leader on the basketball team and this situation significantly impacts my teammates and coaches. They have been such an integral part of my life since coming to Notre Dame. I was looking forward to being in the lineup when our team started play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I apologize to them publicly and regret that I will not be there with and for them in the upcoming months, but I am confident that they will have great success for the remainder of the season.
It is my full intention to return to Notre Dame as soon as possible following the 2014 spring semester. I intend to do whatever it takes to earn my degree and finish out my college basketball career here. I understand that there is a process that I must go through in order to come back to school and I will be patient with that process.
As I mentioned at the start of this letter, I take full responsibility for my action. I promise that when I return, I will be a better student and teammate. I want to thank all of those associated with Notre Dame for their support. I love this school, my coaches and teammates and I look forward to reengaging as an active and positive student and athlete at Notre Dame.
With Grant out of the lineup the Irish will have to rely on several players to step up and fill the void. Senior Eric Atkins is shooting just 39.8% from the field and will have to improve in several areas as the lone veteran guard on the squad. Sensational freshman Demetrius Jackson was slowly getting his feet wet in the rotation and will likely be relied upon to play 8 to 10 more minutes per game while taking more command on the offensive side of the ball. Fellow freshman Steve Vasturia had only been averaging 7 minutes per game before Grant's suspension so he'll have to step up as well.
If there is a silver lining it is that Notre Dame has 8 days off to prepare for their next opponent and make some adjustments before ACC play begins in early January. The Fighting Irish will host Canisius on Sunday, December 29th and will kickoff their participation in a new league with a home game against Duke on Saturday, January 4th.