SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said that four of the five players he disciplined in light of weekend arrests are back practicing with the football team, but their playing status is in the university’s hands.
Sophomore linebacker Te’Von Coney, freshman receiver Kevin Stepherson, redshirt freshman Ashton White and sophomore running back Dexter Williams were arrested Friday night on misdemeanor marijuana charges. Stepherson and Williams were also charged with possession of a handgun without a license, also a misdemeanor.
The fifth player, senior safety Max Redfield, was dismissed from the team. He was also charged with marijuana possession and handgun possession.
Kelly said Wednesday that he did not know who the gun belonged to, but explained his reaction when he heard the news about his players.
“Like any other father, I think my first one was disappointment, and that disappointment kind of moved on to embarrassment to the university, and then I was mad as hell,” he said. “Those are the three stages that I went through.”
In a statement Sunday, Kelly said he dismissed Redfield, and the other four players would be subject to internal team discipline, adding that their status could be affected by the legal and university processes.
“As I said in my statement, there could be further actions through the university, and that will have to take its course,” Kelly said Wednesday after practice, in his first meeting with reporters since the incident. “I think the university is certainly looking at all of these cases and will be certainly expediting or moving quickly through the process, but those matters are out of my hands. I’ve dealt with it internally; they’ve been handled within the program, and the rest will be about what the university does.”
Kelly said that senior cornerback Devin Butler, who was arrested early Saturday morning in a separate incident, is not currently part of any football-related activities. A not guilty plea was entered Wednesday on behalf of Butler, who was charged with felony counts of resisting law enforcement and battery against a public safety official.
In a statement Saturday, Notre Dame vice president of communications Paul Browne said that any student charged with a felony was subject to dismissal.
Kelly, who had suspended Butler indefinitely on Sunday, said the resolution of the player’s status will be expedited given the circumstances.