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May 11, 2010Tight end Mike Ragone was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of possessing marijuana, according to multiple newspaper reports.
Ragone was traveling east on the Indiana Toll Road when he was pulled over for speeding by a state trooper. When the officer approached the car he smelled marijuana, searched the Dodge Charger and found two small bags of the drug in the purse of the car's female passenger.
Both Ragone and passenger were arrested and taken to the LaGrange County Jail. They were released on bond later that day.
"Coach (Brian) Kelly is aware of the situation and feels it is a serious matter," said Notre Dame football sports information director Brian Hardin. "He has spoken with Mike, but any team-related action that may be forthcoming would be handled internally."
The incident throws the tight end's senior season into doubt.
The University's policies on drug possession are outlined in the student handbook, better known as du Lac. The handbook states "Possession, use or misuse of any controlled substance, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and depressants, is a serious violation of university policy. Students who possess, use or misuse such substances shall be subject to disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal."
If Ragone is suspended for next season it would leave Notre Dame with little experience beyond starter Kyle Rudolph. The Irish return former walk-on Bobby Burger to go with sophomores Tyler Eifert and Jake Golic. Eifert took a medical red-shirt last season while Golic never saw the field. Burger finished with two catches for 10 yards, but worked primarily in an H-back role.
Incoming freshman Alex Welch, a former teammate of Rudolph at Elder High School in Cincinnati, arrives on campus next month.
Ragone figured to be a major contributor this season, putting behind him two reconstructive knee surgeries that robbed him of his senior season at Camden Catholic High School in New Jersey and his sophomore season at Notre Dame. Ragone made six catches for 60 yards last season.