Notre Dame starting running back Cierre Wood will not make the trip to Ireland this week when the Fighting Irish kick off the 2012 season against Navy in Dublin, sources confirmed to Blue & Gold Illustrated.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior will serve a two-game suspension for violating team rules. Sources said Wood was not involved in a marijuana-related arrest, as indicated by some reports, nor did he fail a school or NCAA drug test. Sources did say, however, the situation does involve Wood's use of the drug. Because of student privacy laws, it is unlikely the University will confirm or deny whether or not that was in fact the reason for his suspension. Reserve defensive end Justin Utupo was also suspended for violating team rules.
Wood is the fourth player to miss the season opener for Notre Dame, joining junior quarterback Tommy Rees and senior inside linebacker Carlo Calabrese, both of whom were suspended by head coach Brian Kelly after the two were arrested at an off-campus party on May 3.
“Our players are aware of the standards I set for our program and that failure to meet my expectations will result in consequences,” Kelly said in a university release this afternoon. “Justin and Cierre violated our team rules so I’ve suspended them for the first two games of the season.”
Wood missed the first day of team practice this August due to what head coach Brian Kelly called paperwork issues. He has not been available to the media at all during fall camp.
After rushing for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011, Wood was expected to lead a deep backfield for the Irish this fall. He’ll sit out the team’s home opener against Purdue on Sept. 8 and be eligible to play against Michigan State in East Lansing on Sept. 15.
He’ll be replaced in the starting lineup by senior Theo Riddick.
“Our players are aware of the standards I set for our program and that failure to meet my expectations will result in consequences,” head coach Brian Kelly said in a press release Sunday afternoon. “Justin and Cierre violated our team rules so I’ve suspended them for the first two games of the season.”