SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Suspended Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd cleared the first hurdle in his bid to return to the team when a disciplinary panel allowed him to stay at the school.
"I'm grateful that I still have a chance to earn my degree from Notre Dame and be a member of the football team," Floyd said in a statement Saturday, a day after his hearing before the Office of Residence Life.
Coach Brian Kelly suspended the star wideout on March 21, the day after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. It was Floyd's third run-in with the law over alcohol since 2009. He has a May 2 court date.
"I know that I still need to meet the 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," Floyd said. "I'm sorry again for the poor decisions I've made and for letting so many people down."
Kelly had no "drop-dead" date for a decision on whether he will reinstate Floyd, Notre Dame's career leader in touchdown catches (28). The senior ranks second in school history in catches (171) and third in receiving yards (2,539).
"I can only comment on what I do as a football program," Kelly said during a news conference Saturday. "And, as you know, Michael is suspended, and that is indefinite. This is not about anything except how I handle our players."
Kelly emphasized that Floyd has a long way to go before he can return to the team.
"Everybody has jumped to conclusions that Mike Floyd is going to play football. Mike has so many things on his plate that he has to handle before he can even think about football," the coach said. "Academics, and personally, he's got a lot of things in front of him that he has to go through before we even start thinking about football."
"So it's a fluid situation, every day and (I am) talking to him to make sure that very day he takes the right steps to get his degree and personally he has to take care of things that we have talked about."
Details of Friday's hearing or conditions imposed on Floyd were not disclosed.
"There is a (stated alcohol guideline) that I have used over 22 years that I think is an effective way to educate and teach how to make good decisions," Kelly said. "And it's not just me. It is the utilization of the resources that we have. I'm not a professional counselor when it comes to these things, but I'm pretty good at reaching out and finding the people that can come up with those answers.
"... Football is not even in the equation right now, it can't be."