Five Notre Dame football players allegedly found with “significant” amount of marijuana

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Fulton County, Ind.– An initial hearing was held Tuesday morning for five Notre Dame football players arrested August 19th in Fulton County.

Max Redfield, Te’Von Coney and Kevin Stepherson appeared in court Tuesday morning with “not guilty” pleas entered on their behalf.

Redfield, a starting senior safety, faces two misdemeanor charges: a Class A charge of possession of a handgun without a license and a Class B charge of possession of marijuana. He’s been kicked off the team.

Head coach Brian Kelly told the media Tuesday that Redfield’s handgun charge “changed the whole situation” and caused his dismissal.

Coney, a sophomore linebacker, and Stepherson, a freshman wide receiver, along with sophomore cornerback Ashton White and sophomore running back Dexter Williams, face one Class B charge of possession of marijuana. White and Williams did not appear in court, and attorneys filed motions on their behalf to waive their initial hearing and set the matter for pre-trial conference.

Coney, Stepherson, White and Williams are still practicing with the team and face internal discipline. Brian Kelly has said if left up to him, the four will play in the season opener against Texas. The university has not yet ruled on the matter.

“They’re all on the depth chart,” Kelly explained at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, “As you know, some of these situations are out of my hands that’s why they’re on the depth chart. I’ll control what I can control from a football standpoint. But you know there are issues that occur outside of my control.”

Several of the players’ attorneys filed discovery motions to see the video of the recording of the traffic stop which occurred on U.S. 31 South and 450 North. Police say they pulled the five players over for speeding.

According to court documents, the players told police they were on their way to Bloomington, coming from South Bend, to visit friends. Someone in the car reportedly offered up to the officers that they were on the Notre Dame football team and had just left summer practice.

During that stop the officer allegedly smelled “the distinct odor of raw marijuana” according to the court documents and had all five players leave the car, handcuffed them, and sat them on the pavement for a K9 search.

Police then found a gun “within clear sight” in the back passenger floorboard while searching for possible drugs in the car. The gun was a 9mm handgun that was loaded with 13 rounds of Speer hollow point ammunition in the magazine.

All five players told the officers the gun was not their gun, according to the court documents. Redfield and Stepherson allegedly said it belonged to a friend.

The court documents also allege that police also found two clear plastic bags “containing green plant material” and green plant material loose on the front seats and console. They found 12 tablets in the center console. White reportedly said he got the generic muscle relaxer from a friend.

When asked about the university’s and teams drug testing policy, Kelly said the athletic department adheres to “stringent” standards that match any program.

“I’ve never suspended a player for a game for a first offense in this instance,” Kelly also explained that they take an education first, punitive second approach to drug-related discipline.

The four players still on the team will under the educational part of the program now which may include counseling and random drug testing.

“It’s not just football it’s the entire athletic department,” Kelly added.

Coney is due back in court on October 12th for his pretrial conference. Redfield and Stepherson are set to be back in court on October 19th for their pretrial conference. A pretrial hearing for White and Williams has not been set.

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