CLEMSON, S.C., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Three Clemson players have been ruled ineligible to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Auburn on New Year's Eve.
Clemson starting linebackers Nick Watkins and Tramaine Billie and starting offensive tackle Christian Capote, all fifth-year seniors, will miss the bowl game because of poor academic performance.
"I am disappointed that these young men will not be able to play in our bowl game with Auburn," said Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden. "They had every opportunity to retain their eligibility. The staff at Vickery Hall did everything it could to provide them with tutors and assist them with their studies. But, they are accountable for their academic performance.
"All three can still graduate from Clemson and I will do everything I can to encourage them to do so."
Watkins led the Tigers in tackles the past two seasons. He had 116 in 2006 and 118 this year. Billie was third on the team with 79 tackles this season.
Capote started all 12 games at right tackle.