CLEMSON - Clemson running back Mike Bellamy has been ruled academically ineligible for fall semester and is leaving the school, Clemson announced Tuesday evening.
The former five-star prospect was Clemson’s second leading rusher last season, but was suspended twice for violating team rules last season, missing both the ACC title game and Orange Bowl.
Bellamy, a rising sophomore, plans on transferring to a junior college program.
The loss of Bellamy is a blow as Clemson is thin on running back depth and Bellamy had star potential with sub 4.4 second in the 40-yard dash.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney indicated Bellamy had made strides in maturity since returning back from an indefinite suspension handed down in December, when Bellamy was sent home from Charlotte on the day of the ACC title game.
“I am proud of the improvements Mike Bellamy made in the spring semester in a number of areas,” Swinney said in a release. “We gave him the opportunity to return to school in January and to grow as a player and a person and by all accounts from his teammates and coaches, he was doing well.
“But, in the end, he came up short academically. We wish him well and hope he can get back on track in the classroom and continue his football career at a junior college this fall.”
Bellamy rushed for 343 yards and six yards per carry in 2011 as a true freshman. He had a 75-yard touchdown run the first time he touched the ball for the in last year’s season opener against Troy.
Bellamy entered Clemson as a Parade and USA Today All-American part of the hyped 2011 recruiting class that included Sammy Watkins, Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony.