The Notre Dame football program has suspended star wide receiver Michael Floyd indefinitely after he was arrested on a drunken-driving charge over the weekend. This is his third alcohol-related incident in the last two years.
In a statement, Coach Brian Kelly says football "needs to take a backseat at the moment" while Floyd gets his life in order. He says the suspension will not be lifted until Floyd changes his behavior and both the legal and university discipline procedures run their course.
Floyd, 21, apologized in a statement released by Notre Dame Monday afternoon.
"I understand the gravity of the decision I made and how it could have had catastrophic effects on myself and others," Floyd said in the statement. "I’ve talked to Coach Kelly and I accept the decision he made."
"I absolutely recognize that I have many things to work on to become a better person and will need to regain the trust of all whom I have hurt within my immediate family and the Notre Dame family. I fully intend to spend the immediate future improving myself to become a better member of our community.”
Floyd was arrested for a DUI at 3:18 a.m. Sunday, just outside the entrance to campus. He had a blood alcohol level of .19, more than double the legal limit in Indiana.
On Monday, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office charged Floyd with Operating a Motor Vehicle With An Alcohol Concentration of .15 Or More Grams of Alcohol, a Class A misdemeanor. The charge carries a potential prison term of up to a year.
Now the question is what the future holds for the most prolific Irish player. Spring practice begins Wednesday, and Floyd will not be a part of that.
"While I don’t know when Michael will be reinstated, it will not happen until Michael demonstrates he has successfully modified his behavior and the legal and university disciplinary matters have run their respective courses," Coach Kelly said. "What’s most important right now is Michael focusing on maturing and developing more as a person while working to improve his decision-making processes.”
Notre Dame's Office of ResLife has a history of coming down hard on students in these situations. The student handbook says that if a student has a DUI and has at least one prior alcohol violation, that student must be separated from the university for at least one semester. It also mandates that the student submit to an alcohol assessment.
Floyd has two previous underage drinking citations from his time at home in Minnesota.
According to the Hennepin County Courts, the first happened on May 15, 2009 and the second came on January 8th, 2010. Both times Floyd worked with a court hearing officer to keep the citations out of court. In addition, his fines were reduced each time by $78 and $38 respectively.
In the second incident, Floyd and Minnesota running back Shady Salamon, who were former Cretin-Derham Hall prep teammates in St. Paul, Minn., were cited after police were called to a fight involving six to 10 people. A police report said Floyd had blood on his shirt and hands.
Floyd is still on probation for the second citation until the end of this month. It’s likely, but yet to be determined if this DUI will violate his probation requirements.
According to documents from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office, Floyd ran a stop sign at Notre Dame Avenue and Holy Cross Drive just before 3 a.m. Sunday. Notre Dame Security Police then pulled Floyd over at Angela and Notre Dame Avenue just outside the entrance to campus.
Floyd failed three field sobriety tests and was booked into jail at 4:06 a.m. Floyd posted a $500 bond seven hours later, at which point he was released. Floyd is now scheduled to appear in Traffic and Misdemeanor Court on May 2 at 8:00 for the charge.
Floyd's second underage drinking citation came less than a month into Brian Kelly's tenure as Notre Dame’s head football coach. From there, Kelly and Floyd developed a strong relationship. Kelly has praised Floyd on multiple occasions for his work ethic and leadership.
Kelly called Floyd a six-star recruit when Floyd announced two months ago that he was returning to Notre Dame for his senior season and would not enter the NFL draft.
A few weeks later, Kelly named Floyd a captain for the 2011 season at the football team banquet.
Floyd led Notre Dame last year with 79 catches, more than 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdown catches. He was also the Game MVP of the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
This isn’t a precedent-setting arrest for Notre Dame’s Athletic Department.
In 2008, former Notre Dame tight end and lacrosse player Will Yeatman transferred to Maryland following an arrest for underage drinking and resisting arrest. It came on the heels of a DUI arrest earlier in that same year.
The first arrest forced Yeatman to sit out for the entire 2008 lacrosse season. The second round of charges made Yeatman withdraw from the 2008 football season.
Stay tuned to NewsCenter 16 for the latest updates on this story as it becomes available.