Farmer ousted from UA team

Updated: October 28, 2003, 11:10 PM ET

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Clarence Farmer has been kicked off the University of Arizona's football team for undisclosed reasons, said UA interim coach Mike Hankwitz.

The school's sixth all-time leading rusher and the Pacific-10 Conference's 2001 rushing champ, Farmer was dismissed from the team Tuesday and will not return, Hankwitz said.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, Farmer was on a UA baseball field shagging balls in center while the school's baseball team was going through informal batting practice.

But Farmer also showed up late for the Wildcats' 4 p.m. practice, apparently leaving Hankwitz with no other option but dismissal.

"I have met with him numerous times at this point and then again (Tuesday). He was late to practice and he sealed his own fate," Hankwitz told the Tucson Citizen.

Farmer could not be reached by the newspaper for comment Tuesday night.

Sophomore Mike Bell will likely be at least a temporary replacement in Farmer's absence.

Bell, who leads the team in rushing with 483 yards, rushed for 182 yards on 18 carries against California and had 94 yards on eight attempts against UCLA on Oct. 11.

"Mike Bell deserves a lot more carries," Hankwitz said. "I have been pleased with his performance. He has been running downhill better and he is doing it consistently."

Although Farmer had an ongoing feud with former UA coach John Mackovic, the 6-foot, 224-pound back from Houston had said he was enjoying football again under Hankwitz.

After reporting to the Wildcats this season, Farmer said he was not going to talk with Mackovic unless he had to.

But he appeared more at ease since the coaching change and had said that it felt good to enjoy football again.

Farmer was told he had a clean slate under the interim coach, but had been late to practices prior to Tuesday.

Farmer, who was 42 yards short of passing David Adams (2,571) for No. 5 on the all-time list, was suspended for the first quarter of Arizona's 42-14 loss to California on Saturday.

Hankwitz would not elaborate why Farmer was held out, but it came just two weeks after Farmer reached a season-high 122 yards on 25 carries against UCLA.

Farmer's athletic prowess also carried over to baseball.

He was a 49th round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the June amateur baseball draft.

The Dodgers lost his draft rights after he enrolled in school this fall.

Arizona baseball coach Andy Lopez said Farmer asked earlier this month if he could shag balls.

Lopez said Farmer came three or four times and would remain between 20 to 30 minutes.

Farmer finishes his UA football career with 2,530 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He had 326 yards on 90 carries this season.

He also caught 26 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in his UA career.

"He just walked away," Hankwitz said about Farmer's reaction to his dismissal.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index