Message from NDP leadership Oct. 27

Good Afternoon,

The message below was sent out to the NDP families on Oct. 27, 2016. 

Dear Notre Dame Families,

Today we formally filed an appeal with the Arizona Interscholastic Association, respectfully requesting reconsideration of the disciplinary action our football team received for violating AIA bylaws. As you know, the disciplinary action consisted of a one-year probationary period that barred Notre Dame Preparatory from participation in the high school football playoffs. 

We are deeply sorry that our actions have caused our students to suffer, and we desire to take responsibility for those actions. With this appeal, we hope to demonstrate that we have taken adequate self-corrective action to address the violations and deter further conduct, in the hopes that the AIA will reconsider its disciplinary action in the interests of our innocent students.

Notre Dame Preparatory has informed the AIA of the following actions:

  1. Mark Nolan is no longer Head Coach of the Notre Dame Preparatory football team, and is no longer employed by Notre Dame Preparatory.
  1. Athletic Director Monica Barrett will serve a one-week period of unpaid administrative leave.
  1. President James Gmelich has publicly taken responsibility for the class and has apologized to the parents, students and community at Notre Dame Preparatory, both in writing and in person. Mr. Gmelich has offered to be placed on unpaid administrative leave. Notre Dame Preparatory determined that the President should not be absent from the school, and has formally reprimanded Mr. Gmelich and has accepted his offer to donate one week’s salary to charity. 
  1. President James Gmelich will not have any further responsibility for or oversight of athletics, academics, or extracurricular activities. All supervision and oversight of Notre Dame Preparatory athletics, academics and extracurricular activities have been placed under the Principal. 
  1. On behalf of Notre Dame Preparatory, the Diocese of Phoenix has engaged an outside investigation agency to perform an independent investigation of allegations of other potential violations related to the Notre Dame Preparatory Football program, including an additional possible violation for which additional information was requested by the Board. That investigation is underway, and unfortunately could not be concluded as of the date of this appeal. However, upon completion of that investigation, any additional information will be provided to the Board for review and consideration, and Notre Dame Preparatory will take action to address any violations identified.
  1. Notre Dame Preparatory, with the support of the Diocese of Phoenix, is conducting a complete review of the Football program, and will take action as appropriate in light of the findings of that review.
  1. In order to remove any competitive advantage that may have been gained from the out-of-season violation, Notre Dame Preparatory confirms its previous commitment not to conduct any football instruction during the three-week Spring Football Instruction in 2017.

We appreciate the opportunity to address the AIA and demonstrate our intention to take responsibility for our actions. We are committed to taking these actions, regardless of how the Board rules on the appeal. It is our hope that the AIA considers these sincere efforts, and impose a lesser sanction for the violations that would allow the students to participate in the playoffs that they have earned through their hard work and dedicated effort.

We are incredibly grateful for the feedback and constructive input we have received from many of you in our Notre Dame community, and we know these past few months have been difficult. We are sorry for the disruptions, and we look forward to making things right.

Please keep the Notre Dame community in your prayers.


God bless,

Jerry Zander