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March 21, 2011
Notre Dame has already suffered its first loss of next season.
Head coach Brian Kelly suspended star receiver Michael Floyd indefinitely following his arrest Sunday morning on a charge operating a vehicle while intoxicated after running stop sign near campus. Floyd reportedly failed multiple field sobriety tests and registered a blood alcohol content of .19, more than twice the legal limit in Indiana.
The arrest occurred at 3:18 a.m.
"Football needs to take a backseat at the moment while Michael gets his life in order, and 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," Kelly said in a statement. "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 will open spring practice Wednesday without its "six-star recruit" as described by Kelly when Floyd made the surprising decision to return for his senior season. Kelly has also called Floyd the hardest working player he's coached in the past two decades. He was named a team captain alongside Harrison Smith for next season during the program's awards banquet.
Now the Irish may have to adjust to life without potentially the greatest receiver in school history. Kelly's suspension may pale in comparison to the punishment handed down by the Office of Residence Life, a University department in flux during the past year. Under past leadership it suspended tight end Will Yeatman and running back Rashon Powers-Neal for alcohol related offenses.
Neither played for Notre Dame again after their arrests.
Floyd also has the issue of a citation received for underage drinking on his record, an incident that occurred at home in Minnesota in January of 2010. For that Floyd received community service but didn't miss any organized time with the football team.
"First of all, I want to apologize to my family, friends, teammates, coaches, the University and the extended Notre Dame family for my behavior this weekend," Floyd said. "I understand the gravity of the decision I made and how it could have had catastrophic effects on myself and others.
"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 posted 79 catches for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, leading the Irish in all three categories. For his career, the rising senior has totaled 171 catches, 2,539 yards and 28 touchdowns in just 30 games played.
Floyd is eight catches short of the program record for career receptions and 168 yards from the yardage mark. He already holds the career record for touchdown catches.
Whether he adds to any of those statistics next season is now very much in doubt.