Clemson QB Kelly dismissed from team for ‘detrimental’ conduct

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly was dismissed from the team Monday for 'detrimental' conduct.

Geoff Burke/Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The competition to replace record-breaking quarterback Tajh Boyd reached a boiling point during Clemson’s spring game, and now one of the primary candidates to land the job is off the team.

Chad Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, was escorted from the Tigers’ football facilities on Monday, just two days after getting into a well-publicized sideline argument with coaches. Kelly is no longer a member of Clemson’s program.

"I have dismissed Chad Kelly for conduct detrimental to our program," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. "He has had a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program."

Kelly’s disagreement with the coaches reportedly began after they elected to punt in a 4th-and-3 situation on one of his possessions, and when things boiled over during halftime, he was benched for the second half. Swinney described the situation after the game: "Chad Kelly is an awfully talented young man. Made a couple impulse decisions today that were kind of out of character for him."

Furthermore, as details continue to emerge, it appears that Kelly was involved in a traffic-related incident following the spring game:


The 6-foot-1 redshirt sophomore from Niagra Falls, N.Y., was locked in a position battle with Cole Stoudt, Boyd’s No. 1 backup a year ago, and talented true freshman Deshaun Watson, one of the top quarterback recruits in this year’s recruiting class. Kelly was another of Swinney’s prized QB signees — the 20th-ranked quarterback in the 2012 class, according to Scout.com — but now Clemson’s signal-calling competition is down to two.

Kelly accounted for 58 passing yards on 10 completions in his Clemson career, while adding 117 yards and a score on the ground.

As some outlets have already pointed out, Kelly was a bit of an enigma during his time at Clemson. Aside from writing a rap song about himself, he also made headlines by calling out Stoudt, the guy he was locked in competition with this spring, before setting foot on campus, which sparked a social media back-and-forth between the two quarterbacks:

"I know (offensive coordinator Chad) Morris likes me because I’m really their only dual-threat guy, so I can come in for certain packages to run since that’s the best thing I do, really," Kelly said at the time. "Plus Cole doesn’t have that oomph right now and Tajh needs that every day … for someone to push him and keep him working so he gets better."

In the end, it appears Clemson’s staff had had just about all it could handle.