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Brian Kelly hoping for decision on suspended players soon

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David Zalubowski/Associated Press
KeiVarae Russell was considered Notre Dame's best cornerback before he was suspended.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday that the hearings on the five players suspended from the team because of possible academic misconduct should completed by the end of next week.

The quintet includes three projected starters: cornerback KeiVarae Russell, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and defensive end Ishaq Williams. The other two are safety Eilar Hardy and linebacker Kendall Moore. All but Hardy have been suspended since Aug. 15; Hardy was suspended Aug. 28.

Check out the top images from the fourth weekend of college football play.

Kelly made the comment at his weekly news conference. When asked if he had an opinion of the process, Kelly said, "I don't have an opinion and I really wouldn't want to share it publicly." He did say he was told last Friday that a committee had been formed to determine the innocence or guilt of the players.

The suspended players are attending classes, but Kelly has held them out of team meetings.

In a release announcing the four suspensions on Aug. 15, the school said it found evidence late in the summer that students had turned in papers and homework that had been written for them by others and referred that evidence on July 29 to the compliance office on athletics.

Notre Dame has started 3-0 despite not having Russell, the team's best cornerback, and Daniels, who was the leading returning receiver from last season. The Irish play Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J., this week, then play host to Stanford on Oct. 4.

Two players the Irish will have Saturday are starting safety Austin Collinsworth (knee) and wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. (groin). Collinsworth was a projected starter this season, while Hunter was expected to be a reserve, playing mostly in the slot.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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