During his post-practice media availability Wednesday evening, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney commented on running back Michel Dukes, who entered the transfer portal this week.
Swinney told reporters there was a “team issue” with Dukes, a junior from Charleston, S.C.
“We had a team issue this week with him, and he just felt like it was time to move on,” Swinney said. “So, he hasn’t really played. But you hate it. Again, that’s kind of where we are in college football. He’s one of the best athletes on this team, it just takes a lot more than that. But same thing. Wish him nothing but the best. I’ll do everything I can to help him, but just focus on the guys that are here.”
As a follow-up question, Swinney was asked if by “team issue,” he meant that Dukes broke team rules.
“Just a team issue and consequences for that,” Swinney said. “I think he just decided he was ready to move on.”
Dukes had only played sparingly for the Tigers through the first six games and hasn’t been a part of the regular rotation in the backfield with Kobe Pace and freshman Phil Mafah.
Dukes is the second running back to enter the portal since the start of the season, joining senior Lyn-J Dixon.
The news of Dukes’ transfer Tuesday came a day after safety Joseph Charleston also entered the portal. Dukes’ departure leaves Pace, Mafah, Will Shipley and Darien Rencher as the scholarship backs on the roster. Shipley is working his way back from a lower leg injury that’s caused him to miss the last two games.
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