South Florida RB Ford dismissed from team

New South Florida head coach Skip Holtz is laying down the law in Tampa.

Holtz dismissed junior running back Mike Ford from the program on Wednesday evening after violating an unspecified team rule.

The 6-2, 225-pound Ford, who was named International Bowl MVP after a 207-yard performance against Northern Illinois, will end his Bulls career on another sour note after battling injuries and suspensions throughout his time in Tampa.

Ford enjoyed a fantastic freshman campaign, rushing for 645 yards and leading the team with 12 touchdowns, but was never able to maintain consistency on the field — or stay out of trouble off of it.

Twice arrested, he also was forced to sit out a game in 2007 due to academic problems, and he missed the first two games last season for another violation of team rules.

Ford released a statement through the school.

“To all of my family, friends and fans, I made a mistake that I really, really regret and I apologize for that. I am responsible for my own actions. Please forgive me for I am only human. This will not be the last of Mike Ford. I will continue my dream, and I will graduate.”

The Bulls do have depth at the running back position, which will make spring practice even more intriguing. Mo Plancher awaits word on whether he will be granted a sixth year of eligibility, while USF also has six other scholarship running backs on the roster. In addition, Holtz was able to add three backs through his 2010 recruiting class.

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