Notre Dame Suspends WR Kevin Stepherson, RB C.J. Holmes Indefinitely

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2017

Notre Dame's Kevin Stepherson runs after a reception against Navy during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. Navy won 28-27. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly suspended wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and running back C.J. Holmes indefinitely, the team's director of media relations Michael Bertsch announced Wednesday.

Stepherson and Holmes are now ineligible to play against the LSU Tigers in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day.

WNDU in South Bend, Indiana, reported both Stepherson and Holmes were arrested Friday following an alleged shoplifting, and prosecutors are determining whether to pursue criminal charges.

Although he was limited to eight games this year, Stepherson led the team with five touchdown receptions. He also caught 19 passes for 359 yards and returned two kicks for a total of 11 yards.

Stepherson didn't register a reception until Notre Dame's fifth game of the season, a 52-17 victory over the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks on Sept. 30. Frank Vitovitch of wrote in August the sophomore was "in the doghouse or whatever you want to call it."

Kelly offered no hints why when discussing Stepherson's situation.

"The clearest picture that I can give you is the consistent message that I've been giving everyone," he said. "We're not going to put you in a competitive situation—or on the field—based on your talent. You have to exhibit the traits that we're developing in our players."

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Holmes only saw significant action in the Fighting Irish's 33-10 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels on Oct. 7. He carried the ball eight times for 32 yards.