On the eve of the opening of spring practice, Notre Dame received some potentially devastating news when it was reported that star wide receiver Michael Floyd was arrested for driving under the influence over the weekend by Notre Dame campus police.
Monday night both Floyd and Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly released statements about Floyd’s run in with the law.
Predictably, Kelly suspended his star wide receiver indefinitely saying:
“I’ve spoken to Michael Floyd and his mother and, in light of what took place this past weekend, I let him know he has been suspended indefinitely from football team-related activities. 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. 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.”
Floyd meanwhile expressed regret for the situation stating:
“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. 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.”
On Tuesday, Kelly also announced that Floyd was striped of his status as a team captain, but could at a later date be given his captaincy back if he is reinstated.
That, however, is in doubt right now. Floyd had a previous alcohol incident last year when he was cited for under age drinking in Minnesota. How severe Floyd’s punishment from the University will likely depend on how that previous incident is viewed by the University.
Just two months ago Floyd had Notre Dame fans rejoicing by announcing he planned to return to Notre Dame for his senior season, but now that senior season is in jeopardy. We’ll leave the speculating for how severe of a punishment Floyd receives for another day and focus instead on how this relates to the Irish this spring though.
Regardless of his punishment, it’s almost certain Floyd won’t return to the playing field for the Irish until after spring practice concludes, at the earliest, which puts the Irish in a bind at wide receiver.
Floyd was the best wide receiver on the team heading into spring. He is also the only establish physical receiver on the Irish roster. Returning starters TJ Jones and Theo Riddick are talented in their own right, but neither poses the physical mismatch Floyd held against almost every cornerback he faced.
Notre Dame has some other big receivers on the roster – Deion Walker, John Goodman, and Daniel Smith – but none has done much to show they are ready for steady playing time to this point. Kelly was very complimentary of Walker on Tuesday, but to this point Walker has done not much at all on the field. The staff was also very high on Smith last season, but the rising sophomore did not crack the wide receiver rotation a season ago.
Developing one of these physical receivers that can be a red zone threat now becomes one of the biggest priorities of the spring with Floyd’s status for the upcoming season so uncertain.