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Notre Dame Football: Ashton White Off Team, Still Enrolled in School

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Junior safety will finish his degree, then seek a master’s and football career elsewhere.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Junior safety Ashton White has decided not to play football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2017.

“I would first like to thank Coach Kelly for the opportunity to play the game I love at such a wonderful institution such as Notre Dame,” White tweeted Wednesday evening. “However, I will not be with the team this fall as I focus on some ambitious academic goals of mine. I will be staying to complete my degree that I’ve worked extremely hard for. And, following my graduation after this upcoming school year, I will be transferring to another school to earn a master’s degree and finish the final two seasons of eligibility I have left. Again, thanks to Coach Kelly and everybody in the program...can’t wait to watch and support my former teammates and best friends chase that ring they’ve worked so hard for! Thank you, ND nation...it’s been an awesome couple years!”

White is a political science major in the university’s College of Arts and Letters, according to Irish Sports Daily. He played in six games last year, almost exclusively on special teams. White did log four snaps in the Irish’s decisive 50-33 win over the Syracuse Orange last October.

White was one of the Fulton Five, arrested last year on marijuana charges after a traffic stop. He pleaded guilty to a possession charge and was sentenced to one year of probation in November.

Just one guy’s opinion, but I give White a ton of credit. It cannot be easy for a student-athlete to put his football ambitions on hold while he earns a degree. But White is focused on the right goal. After two years of being buried on the Irish’s depth chart, his NFL future looks nonexistent. A Notre Dame degree will take him very far in life. If there’s an opportunity for football in his future, it will happen for him at another school.

Good luck to Ashton as he works to finish his degree.