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Notre Dame

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ND nose tackle Hand to enter pretrial diversion program

Notre Dame junior nose tackle Derrell Hand will enter a pretrial diversion program that will avoid a trial, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Catherine Wilson said Monday.

The 20-year-old Hand was arrested on Aug. 2 and charged with soliciting a prostitute in South Bend. The next day, Hand was suspended indefinitely from the football team.

However, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis hasn’t ruled out Hand’s return to the team at some time.

“We’re all on the same page with this one, and I think he and his mom were very appreciative of the fact that I said, ‘Let’s wait and see how it all turns out,’” Weis said last week. “But the flip side of that is that just like if it was your kid, there are some circumstances that it is more important you clear up the circumstances than you play football.”

Hand was scheduled to appear and be arraigned Thursday in a St. Joseph County court, but the pretrial diversion agreement alleviates that.

E-mails sent to Hand’s Notre Dame account were not returned.

This is the second time this year that a Notre Dame athlete has been arrested and accepted a pretrial diversion program.

In January, Notre Dame point guard Kyle McAlarney entered the pretrial diversion program after a Dec. 29, 2006, arrest on a marijuana-possession charge.

This is the second time in Weis’ three seasons one of his players has been arrested. In 2005, fullback Rashon Powers-Neal was arrested in Minnesota on a charge of driving under the influence. He was suspended by Notre Dame for the semester.

mrothstein@jg.net

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