Nov 7, 2020; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Fans storm the field after the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Clemson Tigers 47-40 in two overtimes. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Notre Dame toughens rules after students storm field

Notre Dame is requiring all students to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test before they can leave campus for the holidays and implementing other tough protocols in the wake of actions following the football team’s nationally televised victory over No. 1 Clemson on Saturday night.

Fans, mostly students, stormed the field at Notre Dame Stadium after the Fighting Irish’s 47-40 double-overtime victory over the Tigers and drew immediate criticism on social media. Many revelers in the throng were not wearing face coverings.

About 11,000 people, mostly students, attended the game in South Bend, Ind., while others gathered in groups to watch the game elsewhere.

In an email to the campus Sunday night, the Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, said the students must undergo testing before the break. Any positive tests will result in a mandatory quarantine before they can leave for their home communities.

Students hosting “large gatherings” also face punishment.

Failure to follow protocols will result in students being unable to register for spring classes, according to the university.

“As exciting as last night’s victory against Clemson was, it was very disappointing to see evidence of widespread disregard of our health protocols at many gatherings over the weekend,” Jenkins said in his message.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told The Tribune in South Bend, Ind., that the school had prepared for several scenarios and put measures in place, including extra security. But as the students stormed the field, the university had to move to get players and staff from both teams off the field as quickly as possible.

“If this happens,” Swarbrick said, “you get this mass incoming, you have to let people come or you’re going to have broken bones and other problems.”

After the win, the Irish (7-0) moved to No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. That seemed improbable earlier this season when Notre Dame was forced to stop football activities amid a COVID-19 outbreak on the team.

Jenkins, himself, contracted the virus after attending an event at the White House in September and failing to wear a mask. On Thursday night, the Notre Dame Faculty Senate passed a resolution that expressed “disappointment” in the president.

–Field Level Media

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