Brian Kelly has dismissed Max Redfield and indefinitely suspended Devin Butler in a statement released Sunday afternoon by the University. The other four players involved in this weekends arrests – Te’von Coney, Kevin Stepherson, Dexter Williams and Ashton White – will face internal discipline.
“During the past 24 hours, I have met with each of the members of our team involved in the two incidents that occurred over the weekend, reviewed the evidence available to me, and consulted with others involved in the leadership of our team and the University,” Kelly said. “That process has only served to deepen my disappointment in the poor decisions made by these young men. Their conduct fell far short of what we expect from those who represent our football team and this great university.
“On the basis of my review, I have decided to dismiss Max Redfield from our football team and place Devin Butler on indefinite suspension. The other individuals, while not being separated from the team, will be subject to disciplinary measures internal to the football program.
“In making this announcement it is important to stress that all of the players involved in these two incidents remain subject to justice system and University discipline, and those processes could yet impact their standing with the University and the team.
“At Notre Dame, where we place so much importance on the integration of students who are athletes into the broader university, the primary responsibility for discipline lies, as it should, with the University's Office of Community Standards. But even within that system, there are times when a player's conduct so clearly fails to meet the standards I have set for our football team that it is appropriate to take action independent of any decision that might be made by the Office of Community Standards. This is such an instance. The expectations we set for the members of our team are high, but they are especially so for the upperclassmen who are expected to provide leadership and a positive example to the other members of the team. Max and, at least at this stage in the review of his case, Devin, have failed in that regard and so have lost the privilege of continuing to be part of our team.”
Kelly's move does not spare Stepherson, Coney, Williams or White from University punishments, which could be ineligibility, suspension or dismissal. That process will likely play out during the rest of the fall semester.
Redfield, Coney, White, Williams and Stepherson were arrested on Friday night just after 10 p.m. After being pulled over for speeding, police searched the automobile and found marijuana and a firearm. All five face a misdemeanor charge for possession. Redfield, Stepherson and Williams face charges of possession of a handgun without a license.
After spending Friday night in the Fulton County jail, located about an hour south of South Bend, all five were released on bond Saturday afternoon
Butler was arrested hours later outside the Linebacker Lounge and faces preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and battery to a police officer. Both are Level 6 felonies, but whether Butler is formally charged with both counts won’t be known until later this week. The state requested until Wednesday to determine what charges Butler will ultimately face.
After spending the night in the St. Joseph County jail, Butler was released on Saturday morning.
A felony charge could lead to any player’s dismissal from the University, which Notre Dame Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Paul Browne noted in a statement Saturday morning.
“Any student arrested on a felony charge also faces dismissal from the university,” Browne said. “The university will determine if additional sanctions should apply to any or all of the students charged.”
The arrests happened just hours after Notre Dame concluded training camp and just days before the start of the new school year. The team had a cookout Friday afternoon following practice and media availability, which included a interview with Williams.
Classes resume Tuesday for Notre Dame students.
These incidents represent the first known arrests of Notre Dame football players since reserve Will Mahone in June of 2014 on five counts, including three felonies. Mahone was dismissed from the University that summer, although he was not a factor in the depth chart at running back or wide receiver at that time.
The Irish open the season at Texas on Sept. 4.