Six Notre Dame football players were arrested this weekend. What are the five things that matter about the incidents?
– What happened?
According to CSN Chicago, six Notre Dame football players were arrested this weekend in two separate incidents. Safety Max Redfield, corner Ashton White, linebacker Te’von Coney, running back Dexter Williams and receiver Kevin Stepherson were stopped for allegedly speeding, and then were arrested on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. Williams was also charged with possession of a handgun without a license.
Also, corner Devin Butler was arrested in a separate incident on charges of battery and resisting arrest.
– Redfield is the big hit.
If there’s any disciplinary action, losing Redfield for any stretch of time would be a problem. The 6-1, 205-pound All-America candidate already missed the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State last season for disciplinary issues, but he’s a potential star. Devin Studstill and Drue Tranquill are good safeties and should be able to handle the work, but Redfield’s a player.
Losing Coney would be a big issue, too, considering he’s supposed to contend for an outside linebacker spot. The Irish are okay at the position, but he’s a likely starter.
– The Butler problem could be the biggest issue.
Revolving around a fight on Friday night outside of a local bar, Butler was arrested for alleged battery to a law enforcement official along with resisting arrest. Unlike the misdemeanor charges for the other five players who got in trouble, Butler is facing felony charges. A good backup, he’s trying to get back from a broken foot that’s supposed to keep him out of the first four games of the season. He’s obviously got bigger issues to deal with now.
– Throw it on the pile.
Along with the academic scandal that hit the program before the 2014 season, the Elizabeth Seeberg nightmare, and the Declan Sullivan tragedy – not to mention Manti Te’o, which was a whole other thing Notre Dame had to deal with – this weekend is yet another incident for a program and the school under Brian Kelly.
First, the legal process has to play out after the latest problems, but no matter what and in terms of perception, it’s another black eye for a football program that’s supposed to be above it all. Notre Dame is supposed to be the example of all that can be good in college football, and it’s not supposed to have to keep answering for major incidents.
– What Does This All REALLY Mean?
Again, outside of depth and rotation, Redfield and Coney are the key players involved, and it’s coming at the exact wrong time. The Texas game to start the season on the road is the scary litmus test – the Longhorns are going to be jacked up to make amends for last year’s blowout to the Irish. If there’s a suspension of more than a few games – if there is a suspension for any of the players – dealing with Michigan State on September 17th will be a problem, too.