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Troubled Tailback Leaves Notre Dame

From Associated Press

Notre Dame tailback Tony Brooks, who faces two misdemeanor charges in a hit-and-run accident last month and was suspended from spring practice, has withdrawn from the university, the school said today.

Brooks, 19, left voluntarily for personal reasons and returned to his Tulsa, Okla., home, athletic department spokesman John Heisler said.

Coach Lou Holtz said Brooks’s future at Notre Dame is uncertain. Whether he returns for the fall semester and the 1989 season will be determined by Brooks and the university administration, he said.

“We’re going with the assumption that we’ll be without him, and we’re proceeding in that direction, although there is the possibility he could return, as I understand it,” he said. “First it’s a university decision, then it’s a team decision.”

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Brooks was charged Feb. 26 with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended Oklahoma driver’s license. He had already been prohibited from extracurricular activities, including spring practice, for an undisclosed infraction of university rules.

Brooks was charged in an early morning accident in which a car driven by a South Bend man was sideswiped. No one was injured. He has been ordered to appear April 12 in St. Joseph Superior Court.

Last fall, Holtz suspended Brooks and freshman Ricky Watters from the game against USC after the two were late for a team meeting. The Irish captured the national championship with a Jan. 2 victory over West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl and opened spring practice March 15.

Brooks, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 218-pound sophomore, averaged 5.7 yards a carry during the regular season, rushing for two touchdowns and scoring two more on pass receptions. In the national championship Fiesta Bowl game against West Virginia, he gained 35 yards in 11 carries.

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