SOUTH BEND IN - NOVEMBER 13: Cierre Wood #20 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs past Chaz Walker #32 of the Utah Utes at Notre Dame Stadium on November 13 2010 in South Bend Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Utah 28-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Brian Kelly talked about why he suspended starting running back Cierre Wood for the team's first two games.
Brian Kelly made a judgment call in suspending starting running back Cierre Wood for the season's first two games, a decision he says was all his own.
Kelly didn't elaborate much on specifics -- just that team rules were broken -- but made it clear that he chose to suspend Wood in hopes that the senior would learn from his mistakes.
"This is strictly an independent decision that I made relative to the decisions that those young men made," Kelly said Tuesday. "And they violated the rules that our players know, and the rules that they know every single day about being in this program."
Kelly drew a comparison between Wood and wide receiver Michael Floyd, who Kelly suspended after a DUI but who went on to become a gameday captain by the end of the 2011 season before being drafted in the first round by Arizona.
"The ultimate goal is we want them all to turn out like Michael Floyd's situation, where they make life decisions to change the way they are," Kelly said. "And so the ultimate goal is to get -- with any kind of sanctions or any kind of suspensions, we want better citizens. We want more accountable citizens. We want people representing our program in the right way."
Wood ran for more than 1,000 yards last year, but the team will opt to go with Theo Riddick, who played last year at wide receiver, and George Atkinson III, who proved his worth as a kick returner last year, for the games against Navy and Purdue.