Clemson RB Mike Bellamy ineligible

Three strikes and Clemson running back Mike Bellamy is out.

After a short career that was spent mainly in coach Dabo Swinney's doghouse, Bellamy has been ruled academically ineligible and won't return this fall. This is yet another off-field blow for the Tigers, who recently learned that star receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested earlier this month for possession of marijuana and a controlled substance. So far, Swinney hasn't announced any punishment for Watkins, but he has said there will be one.

While it's more negative publicity for the program, it's certainly not the end of the season for the Tigers. Even if Bellamy and Watkins are missing for the season opener against Auburn, Clemson doesn't play its first and arguably most meaningful conference game until Sept. 22 at Florida State. It's also important to remember that Bellamy finished the spring third on the depth chart at running back behind 1,000-yard rusher Andre Ellington and his backup, D.J. Howard.

It's unfortunate and disappointing that Bellamy's career ended this way, especially considering how many times Swinney has insisted that despite Bellamy's troubles, he is a good kid who simply made some poor decisions. When it comes to the good of the team, though, his absence might actually mean one less distraction.