Notre Dame announces 2-game suspension for top running back

The SportsXchange

Two Notre Dame players, including the Irish's leading rusher from last season, have been suspended for the first two games of the season, the school announced Sunday.

Senior running back Cierre Wood and junior defensive end Justin Utupo were suspended, and neither will travel for Saturday's opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.

"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."

Although the suspensions were officially announced Sunday, people in and around the program had been aware of the suspensions for a while, CBSSports.com reported.

Wood rushed for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Theo Riddick is expected to be Notre Dame's starting running back for the first two games.

Utupo has been used mostly on special teams.

Quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese also have been suspended for the opener, although those suspensions were announced earlier.
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