The uphill battle for the Notre Dame Football team just got tougher.
On Wednesday, Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly announced the suspension of two Irish players. Sophomore Wide Receiver Kevin Stepherson and Freshman Running Back CJ Holmes were suspended indefinitely from football activities according to a statement.
According to a report by WNDU, both players were arrested last Friday for shoplifting. Stepherson and Holmes allegedly stole merchandise from the Macy’s at the University Park Mall.
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Both Stepherson and Holmes play regularly for the Irish. After returning to the field against Miami (OH), he caught 19 passes for 359 yards with 5 touchdowns. Stepherson led all receivers in yards during this period.
With the injury to fellow Sophomore Chase Claypool, the lack of depth hurts the Irish. Without these two players, Notre Dame probably starts Equanimeous St. Brown, Miles Boykin and Chris Finke.
Holmes played regularly on special teams. Currently, he is buried on the depth chart behind Adams, Jones, Williams and McIntosh. Although he would play against LSU, the Irish will not feel his loss.
Notre Dame battles LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.
This is Stepherson’s second arrest during his time in South Bend. Last August, police arrested Stepherson along with other Irish players including Max Redfield. Police booked the players for marijuana possession and carrying a firearm without a license. Redfield eventually took the fall for the weapons charge while the other individuals received sentences for drug possession.
After a four-game “suspension” this year, Stepherson appeared to turn the corner on and off-the-field. However, this clearly demonstrates otherwise. Most likely, Kelly dismisses from the program pending further thought.
This is the first incident for CJ Holmes. Holmes will likely face some type of suspension for the spring or 2018 season.
All of these actions are subject action by the University.