It looks like Notre Dame may be without one of its best players today for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers. Earlier this week, Brian Kelly named freshman Tarean Folston the starter at the running back position for the game, and that alone turned a few heads — while Folston is extremely talented, he was third on the team in rushing this year behind veterans Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson III.
Today, we might have received some background on why Folston is getting the start — George Atkinson took to Twitter today to announce that he’s suspended for the game, and why — the tweet has since been deleted:
Notre Dame has suspended George Atkinson III and Jalen Brown for violations of team rules. Neither will be at Yankee Stadium today.
— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) December 28, 2013
Notre Dame has a deep stable of running backs, so the loss of Atkinson, while not desirable, isn’t a huge hit for the Irish. That being said, Atkinson venting his frustration on Twitter doesn’t seem like a smart move, considering Brian Kelly has a very strong policy about releasing team news on social media. We’re sure Kelly will be asked about the suspension at some point (and if Atkinson’s reasoning behind it is indeed accurate), so we’ll keep you posted.
You can tune in to the Pinstripe Bowl at noon on ESPN.