Notre Dame has suspended wide receiver Michael Floyd indefinitely following a weekend arrest for driving under the influence.
Floyd was pulled over for running a stop sign in early Sunday morning and arrested after failing three sobriety tests and a Breathalyzer exam. He was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court in April but his position on the football team was given a blow by the school, which forced head coach Brian Kelly to suspend him indefinitely.
Notre Dame’s student handbook states that if a student drives drunk and has a prior alcohol citation the university must separate the student for at least one semester. Because the university clearly defines the procedure for what must happen to any Notre Dame student under this situation, Kelly had little choice but to release a statement saying that the team captain for the 2011 season would be suspended indefinitely.
“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,” Kelly said in a statement released by the university’s athletic department. “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.”
Notre Dame has shown precedent in this situation, and the results do not play in Floyd’s favor of returning for his senior season to try and impress NFL scouts. Former Notre Dame tight end and lacrosse player Will Yeatman transferred to Maryland after being arrested for an operating while intoxicated charge. It was Yeatman’s second alcohol-related citation while at Notre Dame and while he was eligible to return for another season, he chose to move on. Many within the Irish community are waiting to see if Floyd will follow a similar path.
“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,” Floyd said in a statement released by the university’s athletic department. “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.”
If playing college football this season does not pan out then do not completely rule out a shot at playing in the NFL, if the NFL and NFLPA settle their differences and have a 2011 season. Sean Jensen, Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Chicago Sun Times, says that Floyd could be a bit of a sleeper in the NFL supplemental draft and suggests the Bears could be a possible fit if that is the path that Floyd chooses to take with his eligibility in question. ” I watched every game Floyd played for his first two seasons and think he would be an ideal fit for the Bears.”
Floyd’s checkered history in the last couple of years though will serve as a caution flag on Floyd to NFL teams. If they could land Floyd for a second-or third-round pick or lower it would be a no-brainer as long as the Bears were convinced Floyd’s run-ins with the law are behind him,” Jensen said.
Floyd’s future looks to have three options. The first is that he stays at Notre Dame and plays at least part of his senior season in South Bend. The second would be to transfer to another program. Moving to another FBS school would force Floyd to sit out one full season and would not allow him to play again until 2012. In that time he could improve his work and training and any possible rehabilitation he may need to get his life in order. If patient, that could be a valuable option because NFL teams may take some stock in to that decision.
If playing in the NFL is the goal and Floyd wants to do it sooner than later then keep the supplemental draft in mind. It is not a great choice given the situation though. Floyd was given a sub-par draft analysis, which is why he intended to return to Notre Dame for his senior season. If the Irish are out of the picture then look for Floyd to find an FCS program that will welcome him in. A transfer to an FCS program would allow Floyd to play immediately in 2011. It would also give him playing time and a better chance of attracting NFL scouts. He would still have to battle his past and prove that all of that is behind him, whatever road Floyd decides to travel.
In January of 2010 Floyd was cited for underage drinking in his hometown of Minneapolis. He was cited for underage drinking after allegedly fleeing the scene of a fight in a car driven by a former Minnesota player, running back Shady Salamon. Salamon was charged with a DUI, obstructing police and underage drinking. According to a police report Floyd was discovered with blood on his shirt and hands and was linked to the fight at a party.
In 2010 Floyd recorded 1,025 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. His 79 receptions led the Fighting Irish as Notre Dame ended their season with a victory over Miami in the Sun Bowl. Floyd helped Notre Dame win against the Hurricanes with six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fourth time of the season going over 100 yards and his fourth multi-touchdown outing. For his efforts Floyd was named the Sun Bowl Most Valuable Player.
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