The fallout from a pair of incidents earlier in the weekend has slammed headfirst into a pair of Notre Dame football players, one in particular.
In as strongly a worded statement as you’ll ever see from a head coach, Brian Kelly announced that senior safety Max Redfield has been dismissed from the Irish football program. Additionally, cornerback Devin Butler has been indefinitely suspended.
Butler was arrested on charges of battery to law enforcement and resisting law enforcement after an incident outside of a drinking establishment just off the South Bend school’s campus. A probable cause affidavit stated that “a police officer said the player punched and slammed him to the ground outside a bar.”
Redfield was one of five Irish players arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana in an incident Friday night. Additionally, he was charged with one count each of possession of a handgun without a license.
The other four players involved in the Redfield incident, sophomore linebacker Te’von Coney, sophomore running back Dexter Williams, redshirt freshman cornerback Ashton White and freshman receiver Kevin Stepherson, “will be subject to disciplinary measures internal to the football program,” Kelly stated. In addition to the weed charges, Stepherson and Williams were also charged with one count each of possession of a handgun without a license.
Below is Kelly’s statement, in its entirety.
During the past 24 hours, I have met with each of the members of our team involved in the two incidents that occurred over the weekend, reviewed the evidence available to me, and consulted with others involved in the leadership of our team and the University. That process has only served to deepen my disappointment in the poor decisions made by these young men. Their conduct fell far short of what we expect from those who represent our football team and this great university.
On the basis of my review, I have decided to dismiss Max Redfield from our football team and place Devin Butler on indefinite suspension. The other individuals, while not being separated from the team, will be subject to disciplinary measures internal to the football program.
In making this announcement it is important to stress that all of the players involved in these two incidents remain subject to justice system and University discipline, and those processes could yet impact their standing with the University and the team. At Notre Dame, where we place so much importance on the integration of students who are athletes into the broader university, the primary responsibility for discipline lies, as it should, with the University’s Office of Community Standards. But even within that system, there are times when a player’s conduct so clearly fails to meet the standards I have set for our football team that it is appropriate to take action independent of any decision that might be made by the Office of Community Standards. This is such an instance. The expectations we set for the members of our team are high, but they are especially so for the upperclassmen who are expected to provide leadership and a positive example to the other members of the team. Max and, at least at this stage in the review of his case, Devin, have failed in that regard and so have lost the privilege of continuing to be part of our team.
A two-year starter for the Irish, Redfield was fourth on the team in tackles last season. He was expected to start again in 2016.
Butler has played in 37 games his first three seasons with the Irish. He started two games in 2014 and the regular-season finale in 2015. He was projected as a starting corner exiting the spring before a foot injury in mid-June was expected to sideline him for up to four months.