Why Was Travis Kelce Kicked Off His College Football Team? It Changed the Course of His Career

Travis Kelce thought football was over for him when he was kicked off his college team — and out of the school.

Melissa Willets - Author

Feb. 19 2024, Published 12:47 p.m. ET

Travis Kelce #18 of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts after scoring the game winning touchdown against the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 27, 2012 in Charlotte, NC
Source: Getty Images

According to the University of Cincinnati, it was high time that Travis Kelce get suspended from their football team after he violated policy.

This was of course well before Travis became a household name for dating Taylor Swift — and being part of a two-time winning Super Bowl dynasty in the making.

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Yes, we'll have to go all the way back to 2010, when then–college student Travis played for the Bearcats. As the tight end admitted (not that he could hide it), his position on the team was in jeopardy at one point, as was his college education.

Here's what happened, and how the incident shaped the course of Travis's eventual NFL career.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs
Source: Getty Images
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So, why did Travis get kicked off the University of Cincinnati football team before being drafted to the Chiefs?

While appearing on the Bussin' With the Boys podcast in 2023, Travis 'fessed up to an incident in 2010 that got him suspended from the University of Cincinnati football team ahead of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

This was no small deal. Not only did Travis get booted off the team, but he also put his college standing in jeopardy, and he lost his scholarship — all following a failed drug test.

"I got kicked out of college because of it," Travis said about would be a fortuitous event in his life. "I partied a little too much down there, got hit with a drug test and from that point on, I realized I gotta tighten the f--k up."

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Why was his dismissal possibly a good thing for Travis in the long run? Well, as he explained, "What it did was it really kicked me into the tight end room. I was still playing QB then."

Indeed, prior to his drug-related suspension, the Kansas City player was a quarterback.

Ultimately, according to Travis, he was eventually allowed to walk on the team (more on why in a moment), but the Bearcats didn't need a quarterback. "You can just be an athlete on scout team for a year, we'll figure it out,'" he recalled team leadership telling him.

And the rest is history, with the tight end being drafted to the Chiefs in 2013. He has played for the winning team ever since.

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Kelce brothers
Source: Getty Images

Travis Kelce and brother Jason Kelce

Travis Kelce thought his football career was "over" after getting suspended, but his brother stepped up to help him.

Following the failed drug test and subsequent disciplinary actions, the most famous boyfriend in all the land said, “I thought football was over for me."

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But after his brother Jason Kelce, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, begged coaches at Cincinnati to take another look at Travis, he slowly but surely regained his footing with the Bearcats — although he got suspended a second time for breaking team policy.

"I've never really asked how he got me back on the team," Travis previously told Sports Illustrated. "That was my brother just being a big brother, looking out for me every step of the way and fighting for the success story."

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