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Chad Kelly has nobody to blame but himself

Bucky Gleason

Chad Kelly effectively put his career back together and seemed to have his life in order last week when he signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Mississippi.

Less than a week later, there's no telling where this kid is headed.

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that Kelly was arrested on seven charges early Sunday morning after police said he was involved in a scuffle outside a Buffalo nightclub, threatened to spray the establishment with bullets and later resisted arrest. Deadspin released video showing a portion of the melee involving Kelly and bouncers outside Encore on Pearl Street.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze released a statement Monday saying the school was looking into the incident. Kelly was given a scholarship last Wednesday after leading East Mississippi Junior College to a national title. He played one year there after being thrown off the team at Clemson, which gave him a full ride after he dominated at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.

The police and the university will sort through the facts before deciding how to proceed, but this much has become abundantly clear: The kid needs to grow up -- and fast.

Forget about football. If he continues on the same path off the field, having his career taken away will be the least of his worries. He already had a reputation for being a short-tempered, trouble-making egomaniac but appeared to have cleaned up his act. He was friendly and respectful during an interview for a column early in the season about getting his career back on track. His coaches enjoyed having him.

It was easy to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he wouldn't be the first college-age kid who to needed to mature. The "Young and Dumb" excuse no longer works for him, not after he had been repeatedly reminded to stay out of trouble. You would think he would have lasted a full week before making headlines again for all the wrong reasons.

What started the run-in with the bouncers, which led to Kelly allegedly shooting off his mouth, which led to the cops, which led to him getting deeper into trouble? None of that matters. He has nobody to blame but himself. In the first place, he's 20 years old and not legally old enough to drink. The bigger problem is that he didn't remove himself once the situation escalated, especially just days after Ole Miss gave him a great opportunity.

Here's hoping this will be the wake-up call Kelly needed. It would not be surprising if Freeze pulled the scholarship. He's building a very strong program in the strongest conference. He doesn't need the headaches from some kid who hasn't played a snap for him. Kelly needs to realize that he's running out of chances, assuming he hasn't already.

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