|Michael Conroy/Associated Press|
|Notre Dame RB George Atkinson was suspended for Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl.|
Notre Dame RB George Atkinson III's consideration of making an early jump the NFL might have received quite a nudge in the pro direction Saturday.
The Fighting Irish's junior running back, who has applied for feedback from the NFL's advisory board, was suspended for the Irish's 29-16 win over Rutgers in Saturday's Pinstripe Bowl. And it's pretty clear he's not happy about it. Atkinson tweeted the following details about the suspension Saturday morning before the game:
"For those of you who are wondering I was suspended from today's game for texting friends and family during team meal, as i did all season."
The tweet was quickly deleted, but a screengrab of the explanation remains posted at collegespun.com. Although the "other side of the story" remains unclear, and can quickly alter reasonable perspectives, Atkinson's tweet by itself makes Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly look like a petty micromanager. Given that Kelly has policies in place for what his players can and can't post on social-media platforms, it's no leap to assume Kelly won't take kindly to Atkinson giving fans a quick peek under the "violation of team rules" curtain that clouds pretty much every suspension in college football.
Atkinson rushed for 555 yards on 93 carries this season, including 148 on 14 carries against Oklahoma, while splitting time with other backs. Freshman Tarean Folston and junior Cam McDaniel handled the rushing load for the Irish on Saturday; McDaniel rushed for a team-high 80 yards on 17 carries, and Folston had 73 yards and a touchdown.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.