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New Violations At Notre Dame

Several new reports of rules violations at Notre Dame may prompt the NCAA to delay a decision on penalizing the school over a former booster's relationship with football players, an official said Tuesday.

Jack Friedenthal, chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, also disputed reports the panel was divided over how to discipline Notre Dame.

The panel meets this weekend in Tucson, Ariz. A decision in the Notre Dame case was expected months ago.

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"There's no special reason, no big controversy in the committee," Friedenthal said of the delay.

Notre Dame was called before the committee in June after reporting that former booster Kimberly Dunbar had given gifts worth thousands of dollars to as many as 12 players.

At the time, a decision was expected within 4-6 weeks. Friedenthal said a number of things have delayed the decision, including a request this summer for more information from the university.

Still, he said any delay thus far has had nothing to do with the fact that it's Notre Dame in front of the board.

"We treated this like any other case," said Friedenthal, who became committee chairman earlier this month. "We didn't put any more energy, time, thought or anything into this case than we did for any case over the year."

The university last week announced that it had reported three more possible rules violations to the NCAA, including an allegation that a part-time tutor wrote a paper for a former athlete.

It also included allegations that an athlete sold complimentary tickets.

The university has declined to say which athletes were involved, but backup quarterback Eric Chappell was suspended from the team last week amid reports that he tried to sell complimentary football passes.

School spokesman Dennis Moore said Notre Dame requested a delay in a NCAA's decision.

"Basically, it was just a matter of we've got these two things, so let's combine them," he said.

Friedenthal wouldn't say whether the committee had planned to issue a ruling on the Notre Dame case after this weekend's meeting.

Depending on whether the board decides to delay its decision, Friedenthal said a final report could come within weeks.

"We normally try to do what's in the best interest of the schools that are involved in a reported violation, but we'd have to see what our staff says, what the NCAA people say and what our staff says," he said. "Normally, it's the institution that wants an earlier decision.

"But if they want a delay, that's an important action."

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