Chad Kelly statement: “I am disappointed in myself”

BY AARON BRENNER
abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner

CLEMSON – Chad Kelly issued a statement of apology Wednesday through his family, two days after being dismissed from the Clemson football program.

Kelly, who would have been a sophomore quarterback for the Tigers, expressed disappointment for “detrimental conduct” in a statement to the Syracuse Post-Standard, near his hometown of Niagara Falls, N.Y.

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Clemson QB Chad Kelly dismissed for detrimental conduct

BY AARON BRENNER
abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner

CLEMSON – Football coaches want to see players rebound from adversity with class and determination.

For reasons a little murky at this time, Chad Kelly didn’t take that route, and therefore Clemson’s quarterback derby has cleared up dramatically within the past 48 hours.

Kelly was dismissed from the Tigers’ football program Monday by head coach Dabo Swinney for “conduct detrimental to our program” before the sophomore could compete with senior Cole Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson for the starting quarterback job in 2014.

“He has had a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program,” Swinney said. “I hope he will mature and grow from this and become the man and player I know he can be. I wish him nothing but the best in the future academically and athletically.”

It’s no secret Kelly wears his heart on his sleeve; unfortunately for him and his coaches, that boiled over Saturday at Clemson’s spring game when he was benched for the second half after sniping with coaches based on first-half playing decisions.

Kelly did not speak with reporters after the scrimmage, despite his status in the quarterback derby.

According to multiple reports, Kelly was involved in a Saturday evening altercation outside Memorial Stadium, and police were reportedly involved Monday when Kelly met with coaches.

A Clemson University police spokesperson said no incident report had been filed within the past 48 hours on Kelly. A Pickens County online public records search indicated the same information.

Regardless, Swinney decided to move forward without Kelly.

“The biggest thing is he got frustrated,” Swinney said Saturday after Kelly’s poor performance in the public scrimmage, marred on the field by two interceptions.

“You’ve got to understand, he’s still a young player. A big part of this position is maturity and leadership. Those are two things he’s got to continue to work on.”

A four-star recruit out of upstate New York, Kelly only logged 55 snaps his redshirt freshman year in 2013, returning quickly from a torn ACL in Clemson’s spring game April 13 of that year.

He completed 10 of 17 passes for 58 yards, while rushing 16 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. Kelly scrambled for three gains of 20 or more yards; he actually was Clemson’s only player besides lead tailback Roderick McDowell to have multiple 20-yard rushes.

New Clemson president Jim Clements: “You’ll see me at a bunch of games”

BY AARON BRENNER
abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner

CLEMSON — After taking over as Clemson University president three and a half months ago, James P. Clements took a few minutes preceding the Tigers’ spring football game to meet with reporters and discuss a few topics, including fundraising for new facilities, his own love for college sports, and who is Clemson’s new good-luck charm.

Here’s an overview of our 10-minute chat with Clements:

You take over the position, and four days later, Clemson’s in the Orange Bowl.

“It was a pretty great first week, as you can imagine. So I started on Dec. 31, the first assignment was to get on the plane and go to Miami. Unbelievable environment, great people. Obviously a great physical game and a great victory for us. So it was a great way to start. And I had a chance to meet a lot of alums, lot of friends of the university. So it was a perfect first week, could not have been better. I think that tees up this season. Top-10 finish, big victory over Ohio State, so yeah, it was good.”

Dabo Swinney and Jeff Scott said you’re quite the recruiter?

“I’ve had a chance to meet a whole bunch of the recruits. I’ve been to a couple of the recruiting breakfasts, had a chance to take some of the recruits up on top of the Clemson House. Show them what the campus looks like, show them the football stadium where they’ll be catching the winning touchdown pass or making a tackle at the goal line. Look, I’m here to help in any way, and that goes for all the coaches, it goes for academics as well. I’ve been out to recruit honor students and national merit finalists. Anything we can do to help the university get better, athletically or academically, I’m all in.”

So you’re a big football fan?

“Absolutely. From the days I played when I was eight years old, yes. I wish I could have played at this level. Too slow. Not big enough. Not strong enough. But I love the game. And I love what it does for the university. Raises our national profile, raises our image. We have a great program, nationally respected, and really well-run. That’s in football, basketball, Olympic sports across the board. I try to get to as many games as I can. I’ve done that my whole career.”

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No. 14 Clemson baseball snaps No. 2 Virginia’s 13-game ACC home winning streak

From Clemson sports information:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – Daniel Gossett pitched 7.0 strong innings to lead No. 14 Clemson to a 7-1 win over No. 2 Virginia at UVa Baseball Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers (21-13, 10-6 ACC) evened the series 1-1 against the Cavaliers (29-6, 13-4 ACC), who saw their 13-game home ACC winning streak dating to 2013 come to an end. Virginia’s 16-game overall home winning streak also came to an end, as it fell to 19-2 at UVa Baseball Stadium in 2014.

Gossett (4-0) gave up just five hits, one run and three walks with four strikeouts to earn the win. Cavalier starter Josh Sborz (3-2) suffered the loss despite taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. It marked just the third time in its 35 games in 2014 that Virginia allowed more than four runs in a game.

The Tigers broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by run-scoring singles by Tyler Krieger and Garrett Boulware. Clemson added four runs in the seventh inning, capped by Boulware’s two-run homer to left field, his third long ball of the year.

The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.

HIT THE LINKS: The month of coverage leading up to the Orange and White Spring Game

Death Valley

BY AARON BRENNER
abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner

CLEMSON — Really, it’s all about the weather.

Spring games when it’s rainy and mucky out, um, stink. No fun. For anybody.

Today, the weather certainly cooperated in the south, which means fans can get a free taste of fall today at Memorial Stadium for Clemson’s annual spring game and use it as an excuse to grab a suntan. The scrimmage will take place at 4 p.m. and is televised by ESPNU.

Clemson joins South Carolina and 45 other schools around the country (per College PressBox) in unveiling their teams to the public today. As far as the Tigers are concerned, it’s Cole Stoudt’s and Chad Kelly’s one and only chance to make a lasting impression on the public, and you just know their every throw, scramble and swig of Gatorade will be scrutinized for the next four months and change.

No pressure, guys.

Let’s get to some links. First off, the Five Things To Watch at Clemson’s Spring Game.

MARCH 4 – Four Tigers, including starter Crawford, suspended for 2014 opener at Georgia

MARCH 5 - Opening Statements: Dabo Swinney previews spring practices, QB battle

MARCH 5 - Patience makes perfect: open season for Clemson QB battle on first day of spring practice

MARCH 10 - Two Tigers veterans claim Clemson is capable of becoming nation’s No. 1 defense

MARCH 12 - Beasley, Anthony glad to be back; Clemson’s Venables won’t let senioritis set in

MARCH 15 - Backs to the front: Race to replace Roderick McDowell is on for Clemson RBs

MARCH 28 - Clemson’s future star receiver could be Demarre Kitt, Kyrin Priester or Artavis Scott

APRIL 4 - Former Porter-Gaud star Stanton Seckinger raises the bar for himself at Clemson

SUNDAY - Clemson’s returning veterans know defense wins championships

TUESDAY - Clemson quarterbacks play full-contact; Deshaun Watson (collarbone) a casualty

WEDNESDAY - Clemson’s Vic Beasley welcomes double-team treatment

WEDNESDAY - ESPN, Steele: Clemson projected to start No. 16 in AP ranks

THURSDAY - Answers sought along Clemson’s “undisciplined and inconsistent” offensive line

FRIDAY - Venables disgruntled with defensive line’s ‘lack of leadership’ to close Clemson spring practices

-AB