Senior wide receiver Michael Floyd cleared a major hurdle in his journey back to the active roster for Notre Dame late last week when news broke that Res Life would not suspend the star receiver for any games in the 2011 season. Floyd, picked up last month for driving under the influence, still needs to be reinstated by head coach Brian Kelly however.
Both Kelly and Floyd released statements on Friday about the situation.
Kelly reiterated that while Floyd was essentially cleared by Res Life, that he still has work to do before he is back with the Irish full time.
Michael has shared with me the outcome of his hearing with our office of Residence Life, and I’m happy that he has the opportunity to move forward both academically and athletically here at Notre Dame. However, this does not change the fact that Michael is still a suspended member of our football team. As I said last month, part of the reinstatement process to our team involved conclusions to the legal and the university disciplinary matters. Another part was behavior modification, and improved decision making skills. While I have been pleased with the progress Michael has made the last few weeks, there is still work to be done to convince me that he has matured and that he is going to accept the consequences of his actions, learn from them, and become a better person. Until that happens, he will not be an active member of our team.
Floyd, meanwhile, again expressed regret for the situation.
I’ve met with office of Residence Life, and while I don’t plan to discuss the details, I’m grateful that I still have a chance to earn my degree from Notre Dame and be a member of the football team. I know that I still need to meet requirements set by the university and Coach Kelly, and that I have a lot of work to do on that and to prove that I’ve grown from this experience. I’m sorry again for the poor decisions that I’ve made and for letting so many people down.
While Res Life did not suspend Floyd for any games, Brian Kelly can still dole out a punishment of his own if he sees fit. For the sake of the 2011 season though, it seems clear that Floyd will see the field at some point.
The decision by Res Life shows a dramatic change under the new leadership. In years past, similar incidents have cost players entire semesters and in cases like Rashon Powers-Neal, multiple games.
One person who might be the most surprised by the decision is former head coach Charlie Weis who cited the res Life office as the biggest problem on Notre Dame’s campus in his exit interviews with the local media last winter.
“Oh, it’s Residence Life (the disciplinary arm of the office of Student Affairs), it’s not even close for second…I didn’t even know Residence Life existed when I went to school…I think if you took a poll of the students at Notre Dame on what’s the biggest negative issue, I would bet at least 50 per cent of them would say Residence Life…Without getting into the names of people who work at Residence Life…I just think that, not understanding all the principles of du Lac (student conduct manual) and everything else.
A year later it looks like someone was listening somewhere, because had this incident occurred a year ago or two ago, the outcome very likely could have been much different.
Here’s hoping Floyd learns from the incident and finishes off his degree at Notre Dame and is as productive off the field as he has been on it over the last three years.