MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin tailback Corey Clement has apologized for his involvement in an off-campus scrum that led to a police citation for disorderly conduct.
“I apologize to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Just based on my actions from that night of the incident that everybody saw on the video, I’m truly embarrassed from it. I just wish it never happened,” Clement said Wednesday.
The 23rd-ranked Badgers had their last practice Wednesday before flying out to California on Christmas Eve to get ready for the Holiday Bowl against Southern California on Dec. 30.
When asked, Clement added that he was not intoxicated during the altercation on the night of Nov. 8 at his apartment building. He was cited by police about two weeks later.
A season that was supposed to be Clement’s breakout year in Wisconsin’s potent rushing attack has turned into a disappointment because of injuries and the off-field issue.
Clement rushed for 949 yards and nine touchdowns on 147 carries while backing up Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon last season.
But Clement was limited to just 29 carries for 155 yards and four touchdowns this season. He was sidelined for eight games because of sports hernia surgery.
He also did not travel with the team to Minnesota for the regular-season finale as discipline following the citation.
Clement said his action “doesn’t really reflect who I am” and that he was “caught up in the moment.”
On Wednesday, Clement thanked teammates, coaches and friends and family for their support.
“Now I’m just looking to move forward,” he said.
Clement was listed as the backup to junior Dare Ogunbowale on the team’s depth chart against USC that was released Wednesday. Still feeling the effects of the surgery, Clement said he was at about 85 percent.
Clement said he has participated in contact drills the past three days and is eager to get back on the field for the bowl game.
Coach Paul Chryst said he liked the way Clement has reacted to his late-season issues.
“He’s owned the responsibility and you always feel better when players kind of get it, why this is important,” Chryst said.
As for Clement’s availability for USC, Chryst said “You take it day-by-day but I’m going to choose to be optimistic about it and then see where it goes.”
Clement also confirmed that he has decided to return to Wisconsin next season for his senior year. Running backs coach John Settle told reporters last week that Clement was returning.
Clement decided against asking for an evaluation on his potential NFL draft status because of his limited playing time.
“This year was really a waste to me and I can’t do anything so why even try to put myself out there and go to the next level when I haven’t really put out much tape,” he said.
He is eager to move on to next season.
“I’m just waiting for the ball to drop for 2016 already. I’m not really liking 2015 too much and I don’t think it’s liking me too much either,” he said.
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