The school announced that Atkinson's suspension was due to a violation of team rules. The junior running back offered a more detailed explanation in a tweet, which he has since deleted.
Collegespun.com took a screen shot of Atkinson's Twitter page this morning that said, "For those of you who are wondering I was suspended from today's game for texting friends and family during team meal, as I did all season."
Atkinson had 93 carries for 555 yards and three touchdowns this season. His 6.0 yards per carry average led the Irish. Notre Dame has rotated its backs throughout the season, led by Cam McDaniel (135 carries for 625 yards and three TDs). Freshman Tarean Folston emerged late in the season and enters the Pinstripe Bowl with 71 carries for 397 yards and two touchdowns.
A surprising punishment for such a minor infraction especially since Rutgers brings the nation's fourth-best run defense into the game.