Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Kelly addresses Wood suspension, Navy
By Matt Fortuna
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said there were no contingency plans in the days leading up to Sunday's announced two-game suspension of Cierre Wood.
"When I made my decision to suspend Cierre and Justin Utupo, we then began to get more reps to other guys because he wasn't gonna be playing," Kelly said during Tuesday's news conference. "But there wasn't a long period of time that we had a contingency plan because I didn't know what I was gonna do relative to the rules violations."
Theo Riddick, George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel -- who for now is an offensive player -- will see carries in Wood's place. Amir Carlisle, who broke his ankle prior to the spring, is unavailable for Saturday's game against Navy but Kelly remains optimistic he will return early this season.
Wood, meanwhile, was not made available to reporters throughout camp and the preseason, an odd silence considering he is a returning 1,000-yard rusher. Kelly wouldn't delve into when he first became aware that a violation occurred with Wood, though he did say that the discipline was strictly an independent decision made by him.
"I don't wanna get into specifics of time and place because at first, probably wouldn't be accurate," Kelly said. "What's the most important is anytime I suspend somebody from the football team it's perceived as discipline, and I understand that. These are educational opportunities for me. So when I suspend somebody I look at it as how are we gonna get this young man to live up to the standards that I have for our program, and in this instance relative to his suspension, we want it to be educational. And we want them to come back better citizens and better young men."