CLEMSON - It wasn't just about Saturday's on-field debacle, or whatever events transpired off the field in the past week, or any one issue from prior years.
The three key words Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney used in his explanation for releasing sophomore quarterback Chad Kelly from the football program Monday said it all: pattern of behavior.
Kelly had earned props for his speedy recovery from an ACL tear on April 13, 2013, the day of the spring game going into his freshman year. But his brash demeanor, boiling over at inopportune times like the second half of Saturday's spring game, when Kelly was benched for grousing, frazzled the Tigers' offensive coaches.
Senior Cole Stoudt's veteran leadership, command of the locker room and steady performance this spring made it that much easier for Swinney to part ways with Kelly, who had been rumored as a transfer candidate anyway had Stoudt won the job outright.
It's been a difficult spring for Kelly, aside from the ongoing competition with Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson. His uncle, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, is undergoing cancer treatment for the second time in New York City.
After his disappointing spring scrimmage Saturday, Kelly tweeted he had been sick since Thursday and hadn't eaten a full meal since then.
In response to several website and message board reports of Kelly being escorted out of Clemson's football facility by university police on Monday, which campus cops deny happened, he tweeted, "Thats Crazy Someone Would Lie Like That? Wow Is All Imma Say. Good Thing I Got A Great Family And Close Friends".
Then on Monday evening there were reports of an alleged off-campus incident involving Kelly last Thursday. Kelly shortly thereafter deleted his Twitter account.
Ali Rogers, a student intern for the football program and 2012 Miss South Carolina, released her side of the story on her Facebook page, in light of "countless texts, tweets and inaccurate reports" flying around Monday.
Rogers wrote the incident in question was Thursday night, not Saturday after the spring game as reported elsewhere. Kelly was a passenger in a vehicle that backed into Rogers' car in her apartment complex, according to Rogers.
"I said I was going to call the police to file the proper report, and Chad got out of the car asking me not to call," Rogers wrote. "He became very agitated and was extremely disrespectful. As proud as I am to be part of the Clemson Football Program, it was very disheartening that he showed no remorse for his behavior.
"Chad's words and actions do not reflect what our coaches have worked so hard to instill in our players. . I hate all this has happened and wish Chad all the best."
Kelly's been in the headlines for the wrong reasons before. As an incoming recruit in January 2012, he ended up in a Twitter spat with Stoudt over who would back up Boyd.
The Pickens County Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Public Index has a record of Kelly being charged with public disorderly conduct in May 2013. The case was disposed after Kelly paid a personal recognizance bond.
And after Clemson's game against The Citadel last November, Kelly had a heated meeting with coaches when he didn't receive as much playing time as he'd hoped in the Tigers' 52-6 rout. Kelly later apologized and addressed the subject during Clemson's bowl practices leading up to the Orange Bowl.
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