Cierre Wood has been suspended two games from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for breaking team rules, the team’s coach Brian Kelly told the media.
A senior running back, Cierre Wood ran for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns last year, USA Today noted. With Wood out for the first two games, senior Theo Riddick and sophomore George Atkinson III will be picking up carries in his absence.
The Little Irish open their season in Dublin, Ireland for a matchup against Navy. The following week they return to the United States for a game at home against Purdue.
Cierre Wood was not the only player suspended by Notre Dame. Kelly also announced that junior defensive back Justin Utupo would also be out for the first two games.
This is not the first time that Kelly has shown a strong hand in disciplining his players, ESPN.com noted. After quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese were involved in a skirmish with police at an off-campus party in May, the coach responded by suspending the two players for the season opener.
“Our players are aware of the standards I set for our program and that failure to meet my expectations will result in consequences,” coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “Justin and Cierre violated our team rules so I’ve suspended them for the first two games of the season.”
While Cierre Wood played a more pivotal role with the team, Utupo was mostly a role player, seeing time on special teams for the Fighting Irish.
Between the suspensions to Cierre Wood and others, the Fighting Irish will start the season very shorthanded. They also lost starting cornerback Lo Wood for the season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon.