ND's Ragone charged with possession

Backup Notre Dame tight end Mike Ragone was arrested Saturday and charged with misdemeanor possession after police found two bags of marijuana in a female passenger's purse during a traffic stop.

Ragone's arrest initially was confirmed Monday by Notre Dame director of football media relations Brian Hardin to the (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Journal Gazette.

"Coach [Brian] Kelly is aware of the situation and feels it is a serious matter," Hardin said. "He has spoken with Mike, but any team-related action that may be forthcoming would be handled internally."

The 22-year-old Ragone, of Laurel Springs, N.J., has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment.

Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Ron Galaviz told the Journal Gazette that Ragone, who was traveling with a 21-year-old female friend, was pulled over for exceeding the speed limit traveling east on the Indiana Toll Road on Saturday morning.

Galaviz told the newspaper that state trooper Tony Lomonaco smelled marijuana and found two small bags of marijuana in the woman's purse. According to Galaviz, Ragone and the woman were charged with misdemeanor possession because the amount found was less than 30 grams.

Ragone started six games last season, catching six passes for 60 yards. He missed his 2008 sophomore season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament while running routes during that summer.

Ragone's fate rests in the hands of Notre Dame's Office of Residence Life, which suspended former men's basketball player Kyle McAlarney during the 2007-08 season as a result of a marijuana arrest by the Indiana State Police after a traffic stop on Dec. 29, 2007.

According to the Notre Dame student handbook, "Possession, use or misuse of any controlled substance, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and depressants, is a serious violation of University policy. Students who possess, use or misuse such substances shall be subject to disciplinary suspension or permanent dismissal."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.