The coach at Ole Miss is waiting to see how Chad Kelly’s court date pans out before making any decision about the quarterback’s future at the school.
Kelly, who played for St. Joe’s and is Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly’s nephew, was arrested December 21 around 3 a.m. outside Encore on Pearl Street in downtown Buffalo. Police say Kelly punched a bouncer and then scuffled with officers while being removed from a pickup truck, which officers stopped nearby.
The 20-year-old signed a letter of intent to play at Ole Miss last week.
In an interview with Inside Ole Miss Sports, head coach Hugh Freeze says Kelly is calling and texting him every day, but Freeze says he isn’t making any decision until Kelly’s court date on January 5.
“I just want to be sure. When you’re dealing with a kid’s future … I know everybody has their opinion. None of the opinions really matter other than what’s best for the program first, the kid second. For me to do anything other than wait for all the facts and the total truth … because everything that’s out there is not accurate. I want to deal with exactly what is accurate. That’s in fairness to any individual that you’re dealing with,” Freeze said.
Kelly’s attorney Thomas Eoannou told 7 Eyewitness News that this video proves his client was not the aggressor:
"You can see from the video that he’s talking to someone and that individual reaches out and grabs him by the neck," Eoannou said.
But the video was taken after some words were exchanged. According to the police report, Kelly told bar staff, "I'm going to my truck and get my AK-47 and spraying this place."
That was after some words were exchanged. According to police documents, Kelly stold the bar staff, “I’m going to my truck and get my AK-47 and spraying this place.”
Police officers say once in custody in the back of a cruiser and on his way to jail, Kelly told them, “It’s all my fault. Sorry for what I did. I f*&^%$ up. I wasn’t raised like that. I’m going to lose everything. It’s all my fault.”
“He feels that it’s his fault for putting himself in that position. But clearly the video shows what happened,” Eoannou.
Kelly faces numerous charges, including resisting arrest, third-degree assault, second-degree harassment and second-degree menacing.
Freeze says Kelly is “very remorseful” about what happened and wanted him to “know the truth, the way he perceives it.”
“He knows he made a mistake in being in the wrong place. I think he’s remorseful for that. I’ve got to deal with what is best for the team first. Then at the same time try to do what’s right for young men,” Freeze said.
This is not Kelly’s first dust-up with authorities. In April, he was kicked off the Clemson football team for conduct detrimental to the program.
But this past season, he led East Mississippi Community College to the National Junior College Athletic Association title.
Ole Miss would be Kelly's second chance to play college football.