Once-homeless Baylor RB off team

Baylor confirmed Wednesday that walk-on running back Silas Nacita is no longer a member of the Bears' football team.

"Silas Nacita will not be a part of the football program moving forward due to rules violations that impact his eligibility," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said in a statement released by the school. "We appreciate his contributions to Baylor football and wish him well as he completes his studies."

Nacita had said earlier Wednesday via Twitter that the NCAA ruled him ineligible because he accepted impermissible benefits while he was homeless last summer.

However, the NCAA tweeted that it did not issue any decision regarding Nacita's eligibility.

Nacita, a backup who rushed for three touchdowns last season, walked on to the Baylor program in the summer of 2014 after being homeless for a year.

"A few months before enrolling, a close family friend approached me and said they didn't want me sleeping on floors and wondering how I was going to eat the next meal," Nacita wrote on his @Salsa_Nacho Twitter account, "so they insisted on putting me in an apartment and helping out with those living expenses.

"Because I accepted that offer instead of choosing to be homeless, I am no longer eligible to play football and pursue my dream. I had no idea I was breaking any rules, but I respect the decision of the NCAA."

Nacita, a native of Bakersfield, California, had transferred from Cornell but was unable to enroll in 2013. He was homeless for the next year and took online community college courses at a library while sleeping on the floor at friends' apartments. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in his first year at Baylor.

"This guy's been through a lot," Baylor coach Art Briles told reporters before practice Wednesday. "He's a tough kid. If we're worried about him, we need to stop. He's a tough guy. He'll make it."

Nacita did not participate in the Bears' first spring practice Tuesday.

Briles said Nacita's status with the team is a compliance issue that's out of his hands.

"It kind of snowballed on us here a little bit in the last week or so," Briles said. "I was unaware of anything that was going on. It's unfortunate, you know, and hopefully there will be a remedy. I don't know what it is right now. Hopefully there will be a chance for him to continue his dream."

If Nacita's eligibility is eventually restored, Briles said the team would welcome him back.

"Like I said, this is out of our control," Briles said. "He hasn't been dismissed from the team for any purposes other than, you know, I guess there's a glitch in his eligibility."