Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is revealing the source of the program's COVID-19 outbreak ... and it was all due to some pregame dinner bonding.
... and puke.
As we previously reported ... ND's game at Wake Forest scheduled for this past weekend was postponed after several players tested positive for the 'rona.
Kelly spoke about the outbreak in detail this week ... saying it started to spread at the team's pregame meal prior to their win over South Florida on September 19.
"Throughout our entire time together, we had not had one meal where we sat down together," Kelly told ESPN. "Everything was grab and go. We get into our game situation where we have pregame meal together, and that cost us. Big."
"We had somebody who was asymptomatic, and it spread like wildfire throughout our meeting area where we were eating and then it got guys in contact tracing."
Kelly points out another incident during the USF game that spread the virus ... after a player threw up on the sidelines. The team initially thought he was dehydrated, but he later tested positive for COVID.
The school announced 18 total players had tested positive for the virus on Monday ... and Kelly says the team is taking extra measures to prevent further contamination -- from using ballrooms for meals to more testing.
As for South Florida, the Bulls postponed their game against FAU after ND went public with its outbreak ... but zero players tested positive.