So, without further ado, this man's humble opinion on the entire spectacle that was these past few weeks.
Everybody Has An Agenda
Some people don't seem to understand that everybody has an agenda. Several different media sources throughout the state "broke" information over the past two weeks. Many times, this information was 100% accurate. However, sometimes, it was jaded by the sources that leaked the information. If a football coach, for example, leaks some information to a radio host, then what bias do you think that information is going to have? Of course, because the football coach has an agenda, it will appear that the problems at Clemson had everything to do with the Compliance Office, not the coaching staff. That, my friends, is human nature. But, that does not mean that the leaked information is 100% fair to all parties involved. In my opinion, most of the information that was leaked was tainted slightly to make the coaching staff look faultless…something that just simply is not the case. That is why you are much better off waiting until official information is obtained.
Lamar Green Gets Off Easy
I don't know Lamar Green from the man on the moon. And, down deep, I don't think Green was deliberately trying to hurt Clemson University when he hired McIntosh and Littlejohn. In fact, football players at Gaffney High School receive free meals, perks, and cushy jobs from its community routinely. The town of Gaffney loves high school football, and they appreciate the hard work kids put into the football program by rewarding all the players in different ways. In addition, not all of these players end up being Division 1 prospects and even fewer of them end up being recruited by Clemson. But, the bottom line is Green put this University in the cross hairs with his dealings with McIntosh and Littlejohn. Anytime you start talking about $1,300 loan for a limousine, you are walking a very fine line with the NCAA. In my opinion, he is lucky to only get 1 year of disassociation with Clemson.
Burton Burns Knows Better
Burton Burns knew exactly what he was doing when he sat down with McIntosh and Littlejohn for lunch. This was not some happenstance meeting, as many defenders of the coaching staff have claimed. And, in the large scheme of things, sitting down with McIntosh and Littlejohn for lunch during a quiet period in not that big of a deal. But, it is a violation of NCAA rules. I'm sure it was tough for Burns to call those kids and tell them that Clemson could no longer offer them a scholarship to play football. And I am sure it will be tough on Burns this year when he cannot go out on the road recruiting for the Tigers. But, in my opinion, you sleep in the bed you make. Burns knew better, and because of his bad judgment, he must suffer the consequences.
Anti Becky Bowman
As I have said in previous articles, to defile Becky Bowman is embarrassing to this University. She may or may not be liked by the coaching staff, I don't care. Her job is to keep Clemson from going on probation. And, by all accounts, she has done her job as well as could be expected. The NCAA Enforcement Staff "commended Clemson for its cooperation and assistance during the investigation of the reported violations, and said the self-imposed penalties ‘are appropriate for the violations that have occurred'" is all I needed to hear. If the NCAA (which is judge and jury) says that the actions Clemson took are appropriate for the violations, then the Compliance Office at Clemson DID NOT penalize the football too harshly. Becky Bowman apparently did her job, and to vilify her makes one look like a complete idiot.
Tommy Bowden Leaving?
First of all, I think Coach Bowden is very happy in Clemson and wants to stay here for a very long time. There have been many who have speculated that Coach Bowden is so disgruntled with the Compliance Office at Clemson that he has contemplated taking other jobs in the past and that he will continue to privately look for greener pastures in the future.
One of two things will happen.
If Bowden truly loves his job in Clemson then he will not allow a difference in views with Becky Bowman run him away. If Bowden does have a problem with Bowman (which is merely speculation at this point), he would follow the proper procedures within to file his complaints. Just like any company, there are procedures in place at Clemson to voice complaints and give feedback. If Bowden is in this thing for the long haul, he will follow those procedures if, or when, he has a problem.
On the other hand, if Bowden is simply using Clemson as a pedestal to reach higher ground, why should we care if he got his feelings hurt by Bowman? If he is going to go, he will do so regardless of Becky Bowman and the Clemson Compliance Office. We don't need to spend our time biting our nails every time something happens that might upset Bowden. He cannot hold us, or the University, hostage over every little issue that surfaces.
But, as far as I can tell, he is not upset. And, I'll tell you one thing…I'm not losing any sleep worrying about it.
You can reach Scott Rhymer at firstname.lastname@example.org.