Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 12, 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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10 SEPT. 12, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME The legal process for the six Notre Dame football players who were arrested in mid-August continues to sort itself out at the start of the season. Former Notre Dame senior safety Max Redfield, who was kicked off the team by head coach Brian Kelly, pleaded not guilty to one count of misdemeanor possession of mari- juana charge and misdemeanor pos- session of a handgun without a li- cense after a traffic stop Aug. 19. The four other players in the vehi- cle — freshman wide receiver Kevin Stepherson, sophomore linebacker Te'von Coney, sophomore running back Dexter Williams and sopho- more cornerback Ashton White — pleaded not guilty to a charge of mis- demeanor possession of marijuana. Police originally charged Stepher- son and Williams with the handgun violation because they were in the backseat of the car, but the pros- ecutor did not file a formal charge against the two. Kelly said athletic department policy states that the first marijuana offense is an educational process. The head coach said he has never suspended a player for a first offense and that the school could still dis- cipline the players, but there is no deadline for such a move. Kelly was asked about Notre Dame's drug testing. "We have a very rigorous drug testing policy," Kelly said. "I've been at four schools, and I believe our pol- icy is as stringent … and when I say stringent, I mean we are on top of it on a day-to-day basis. "But … it's not just punitive. It's education. And if the education part is not working, then the punitive part comes in. But I think we've done a great job with our drug test- ing policy." The five players were arrested in Fulton County, Ind., after the car driven by White was stopped for speeding and an improper taillight. Police say they found two bags of marijuana. The five players told police the gun was not theirs, court documents said. Kelly said Redfield, who had a troubled past at Notre Dame, was kicked off the team because of the gun charge. "That changed the whole situa- tion," Kelly said. "And that's what caused the dismissal — and as an upperclassman not really living up to the standards that I set. "The other four guys, we're talk- ing about possession of marijuana and me dealing with that situation. It was the handgun that was the game- changer." Senior cornerback Devin Butler, who was arrested in a separate in- cident on the morning of Aug. 20, is still indefinitely suspended from the team, Kelly said. Butler was charged with two felonies as the result of an alleged altercation with police out- side a bar. — Matt Jones Arrested Players Update Freshman wide receiver Kevin Stepherson (above), sophomore linebacker Te'von Coney, sophomore cor- nerback Ashton White and sophomore running back Dexter Williams were still allowed to practice with the team by head coach Brian Kelly and suit up for the Texas opener despite their Aug. 19 arrest. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL TICKETS ALL HOME AND AWAY GAMES AVAILABLE 1-800-925-2500

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