Phillips Talks Pre-game Handshake

CLEMSON – It was an extremely busy Tuesday night with news on and off the field concerning the football team at Clemson. There are key injuries, talk about ESPN showing the game after all, and a possible pre-game handshake between South Carolina and the Tigers. And has exclusive interviews with those individuals directly involved with all the matters.

First, the news that probably interests the most people concerns whether ESPN or one of its sister networks is going to carry the game or not.

As of 8:30 p.m., Tuesday night, South Carolina athletics director Eric Hyman was in the midst of ongoing discussions with ESPN and the Southeastern Conference concerning the possible telecast of the 7 p.m. game Saturday night.

"I don't know what all the options are or what all they're working on," South Carolina sports information director Steve Fink said. "Hopefully, we'll come to some resolution one way or the other. Hopefully sooner rather than later."

Clemson athletics director Terry Don Phillips to that it's not surprising the options are being discussed.

"I think ESPN would like to have a chance to do it all over again," he said. "ESPN probably realizes that maybe they made a mistake."

However, Phillips said he wasn't sure if it was a good idea to have it broadcasted on ESPNU or ESPN Classic. While ESPN Classic is more commonplace, very few people get ESPNU and Phillips said it would be just as difficult if not more so for folks to watch it on that channel than on pay-per-view.

There have also been talks about possibly televising the game on ESPN-2. Be sure to check out throughout the night for the latest updates and news concerning this topic.

Pre-game handshake
Clemson athletics director Terry Don Phillips confirmed to that there will indeed be a pre-game handshake between the two teams on Saturday. It's designed to be a show of good faith and good will.

"The coaches agree and (the two athletic directors) agree that we need to do something," Phillips said Tuesday night. "We're talking about two quality universities and quality people associated with those universities and we need to always ensure that we have class and dignity to this rivalry.

"It's a great rivalry. Obviously some things in the past have probably gotten a little out of hand. We see this as an opportunity to make it the kind of rivalry that it truly is. It's a great rivalry with two outstanding universities."

However, at least one Clemson player thinks it might not be such a good thing to do.

"Whatever it takes to get the game started, man," said cornerback Duane Coleman, who was one of the six players suspended a game this year for their involvement in the brawl last season. "We just want to play football and put that behind us, man. That happened last year. …

"I think it's crazy to shake hands or whatever, but whatever. I'm down for whatever. I'm just ready to play football, man. … And what does this handshake mean. That's just another chance for it to get ugly. It's a chance that it could, not saying that it would. I just don't think that it's a good idea. But I'm for whatever."

Injury news
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said that while quarterback Charlie Whitehurst's arm is exactly the same as it was last week, the rest of him is more banged up now than at any point during the season.

"He is beat up," Bowden said. "I didn't anticipate that. We haven't had that happen. We haven't played those kind of strikers and he took some shots. Obviously, as beat up as much as he is, I'm still not going to tell you how much as far as what he did, but that had an affect on the day that I did not expect."

Offensive guard Nathan Bennett is listed between questionable and doubtful for Saturday's game with a calf injury. Also, right offensive tackle Marion Dukes has a sore lower back and it's bad enough that he is having a very difficult time walking. However, he believes he's going to play. Top Stories