Suspended Yeatman charged with DUI, criminal recklessness

Updated: February 6, 2008, 8:27 PM ET
Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame tight end Will Yeatman was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor counts of drunken driving and criminal recklessness after allegedly driving a car on a campus sidewalk with his headlights off in the early morning hours.

The charges were filed a day after Yeatman, a 19-year-old sophomore, was suspended indefinitely from the football and lacrosse teams for an undisclosed violation of team policy. He remains enrolled in school, university spokesman Dennis Brown said.

A probable cause affidavit said Yeatman, a 6-foot-6, 263-pound tight end from San Diego, was arrested at 2:49 a.m. on Jan. 28 by campus police. Yeatman, who was released on $250 cash bond, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.11 percent, said Catherine Wilson, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office. A blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent is considered too drunk to drive under Indiana law.

Yeatman could not be reached for comment Wednesday because there was no telephone listing for him. A message seeking comment was left Wednesday by The Associated Press on an answering machine at the home of his parents.

Coach Charlie Weis declined to comment following a news conference Wednesday to announce signings of high school seniors to letters of intent, saying he would address the issue Friday when he holds a news conference to discuss other football topics.

If convicted of criminal recklessness, Yeatman could face up to a year in jail, Wilson said. The misdemeanor alcohol charge carries a penalty of up to 60 days in jail.

Typically, the prosecutor's office reviews such cases to determine whether those charged qualify for a pretrial diversion program, Wilson said.

"It depends on the defendant's criminal history, the particulars of the case and so forth," she said. "It will be determined if it is appropriate."

Yeatman is scheduled to appear in St. Joseph Superior Court on Feb. 25.

The arrest was first reported Wednesday by the South Bend Tribune, before the charges were filed. It is not unusual for it to take longer than a week between an arrest and charges formally being filed, Wilson said.

Yeatman, a strong blocker, played in all 12 games for the Irish and started three, making six catches for 37 yards. He was expected to challenge for a starting spot next season with the graduation of starter John Carlson.

Yeatman also led the Irish lacrosse team with 46 points last spring and was named Great Western Lacrosse League newcomer of the year. The Notre Dame lacrosse team begins its season Feb. 16 against Loyola, Md.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press