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Kelly: Floyd has work to do to ‘be an active member of our team’

The good news for Michael Floyd is that Notre Dame’s Office of Residence Life decided against a suspension following a drunk-driving arrest. The bad news for the All-American candidate is that his head coach is not yet ready to fully embrace a return to the program.

Floyd has been suspended since his March arrest, and Brian Kelly said in a statement released this afternoon that the sanctions will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

“Michael has shared with me the outcome of his hearing with our Office of Residence Life, and I’m happy that he has the opportunity to move forward both academically and athletically here at Notre Dame. However, this does not change the fact that Michael is still a suspended member of our football team. As I said last month, part of the reinstatement process to our team involved conclusions to the legal and university disciplinary matters. Another part was behavior modification and improved decision-making skills. While I have been pleased with the progress Michael has made in the last few weeks, there is still work to be done to convince me he has matured and that he is willing to accept the consequences of his actions, learn from them, and become a better person. Until that happens, he will not be an active member of our team.”

In other words, Floyd will continue to serve his suspension through at least the end of spring practice. Following practice Saturday, though, Kelly expounded a little on his earlier statement and made it sound as if a suspension from the football program was very much on the table.

Michael’s suspended and that’s indefinite,” Kelly said. “Everybody has jumped to conclusions that Mike Floyd is going to play football,” Kelly said after Saturday’s practice. “Mike has so many things on his plate that he has to handle before he can even think about football — academics and personally. He’s got a lot of things in front of him, a lot of hurdles that he’s going to have to go through before we even start thinking of football”

For his part, Floyd was contrite in his own statement released by the school.

“I’ve met with the Office of Residence Life and, while I don’t plan to discuss the details, I’m grateful that I still have a chance to earn my degree from Notre Dame and be a member of the football team. I know that I still need to meet requirements set by the university and Coach Kelly, and that I have a lot of work to do that and to prove that I’ve grown from this experience. I’m sorry again for the poor decisions I’ve made and for letting so many people down.”

The March arrest was his third alcohol-related brush with the law since coming to South Bend, making the fact that he wasn’t slapped with a semester suspension following a disciplinary hearing head-scratching to say the least. Guess that’s what happens, though, when you’re the most talented player on the football team and on the verge of becoming the all-time leader in every major statistical receiving category.

Whether Kelly sees the situation differently and can pull the suspension trigger, however, remains to be seen.