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Kelly suspends Stepherson, Holmes indefinitely following arrests

| Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Updated Friday at 4:37 p.m.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced Wednesday the indefinite suspensions of sophomore wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and freshman running back C.J. Holmes, according to a program spokesperson.

According to a WNDU report, both Stepherson and Holmes were arrested for shoplifting from University Park Mall in Mishawaka on Dec. 15.

Chris Collins | The Observer
Irish sophomore wide receiver Kevin Stepherson drops a pass thrown behind him during Notre Dame’s 38-20 loss to Stanford at Stanford Stadium on Nov. 25.

“The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled appropriately by the criminal justice system,” University spokesperson Dennis Brown said in an email. “University discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law.”

On Friday, according to a second WNDU report, Stepherson was also charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license eight days after he was pulled over for speeding in Marshall County on Dec. 14, a day before the shoplifting arrests.

An initial hearing for the charges filed Friday, according to online records, is scheduled for Feb. 20.

Stepherson was also arrested in August of 2016 in Fulton Country for possession of marijuana, along with four other Notre Dame football players. Stepherson was charged with a Class B misdemeanor and was under court-ordered probation for the incident in August of 2016.

Stepherson was not suspended last year, despite the arrest, but WNDU reported the Jacksonville, Florida, native was suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season for a violation of team rules. This suspension was not confirmed by Notre Dame, though the sophomore did not play in the first four games of the season.

If Stepherson misses Notre Dame’s upcoming Citrus Bowl, the Irish will be without two of their top three targets when they take on LSU. Stepherson has 19 catches for 359 yards on the season. Kelly announced last week that sophomore wide receiver Chase Claypool injured his shoulder in practice and will sit out the bowl game due to the injury.

Holmes rushed eight times for 33 yards in 2017, and he has mostly appeared on special teams in his eight games played this season.

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