(Reuters) - Six University of Notre Dame football players were arrested in Indiana overnight, five on suspicion of marijuana possession and the sixth after an altercation at a local bar, officials and local media reported on Saturday.
Devin Butler, identified as a cornerback on the nationally ranked team, was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of battery and resisting law enforcement, both felonies, after a fight at a bar in South Bend, the St. Joseph County Police Department said. An affidavit claimed that “a police officer said the player punched and slammed him to the ground outside a bar,” NBC Sports reported.
Butler, who was held at the county jail, was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
The five others - Te’Von Coney, Max Redfield, Kevin Stepherson Jr., Ashton White and Dexter Williams - were arrested on the misdemeanor marijuana charge after a traffic stop near Rochester, about 50 miles south of the school’s South Bend campus, police in a statement.
Three of the five also face a charge of possessing a firearm without a license after police found a loaded handgun in the car, the state police said.
All five posted bond and were released from the county jail, a spokesman said.
Asked whether the school was considering any disciplinary action against the six student-athletes, Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications at Notre Dame, outlined the university’s general policy.
“Any student arrested on a felony charge also faces dismissal from the university,” he said in an email. “The university will determine if additional sanctions should apply to any or all of the students charged.”
The incidents at Notre Dame, one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in the country, added to a long list of criminal allegations leveled against collegiate athletes in recent years, raising calls for harsher sanctions against players found guilty of violations.
The Notre Dame team, ranked No. 9 in ESPN’s preseason college football poll, completed training camp on Friday in preparation for its Sept. 4 opening game at the University of Texas.
(Reporting By Frank McGurty in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)