Derrell Hand, a former football star at West Catholic High, faces an uncertain future as a candidate for playing time on the Notre Dame defensive line after his arrest last week in South Bend, Ind., on charges of patronizing a prostitute.

Hand, 20, a 6-foot-3, 287-pound junior defensive end, was arrested at 1:49 p.m. Thursday after approaching an undercover South Bend police officer posing as a prostitute about three miles from the Notre Dame campus, Capt. Phil Trent, a police information officer, said yesterday.

Hand was released from the St. Joseph County Jail on $250 bond shortly after his arrest on the charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor. He also was charged with driving without a license.

Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis suspended Hand indefinitely from the team Friday for violating team rules.

Brian Hardin, Notre Dame's director of football media relations, said that Weis would have no further comment on the issue.

Weis, speaking at yesterday's media day, did not mention Hand when he was asked about the defensive line.

Trent said six people were arrested during the lunchtime sweep of the area, which, he noted, was frequented by prostitutes and men who proposition them.

Hand had not seen any playing time at Notre Dame during his first two years. He entered the university weighing more than 300 pounds and worked on conditioning his freshman year, then was hounded by nagging injuries as a sophomore.

However, he impressed coaches during spring practice and was considered a threat to incumbent senior starter Dwight Stephenson Jr. this fall at defensive end. He also was a candidate for playing time at nose tackle.

Notre Dame began preseason practice yesterday. The Fighting Irish open their season Sept. 1 against Georgia Tech.

Hand starred as a tight end and defensive tackle at West Catholic, and was a second-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection as a senior.

Toward the end of his senior season, Hand was suspended for 30 days for leaving the school campus at lunchtime to get something to eat at a local KFC. He was reinstated in time for the Catholic League Blue Division title game, which West lost by 29-0.

On Jan. 19, 2005, he announced he would attend Notre Dame. According to the university's media guide, he is enrolled in the Mendoza School of Business.