Thursday Practice Notebook

CLEMSON - When two Clemson fans approached N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien and said unflattering words following No. 23 Clemson's 27-9 victory last Saturday in Death Valley, Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden immediately apologized after witnessing the event firsthand.

"I was right there and I apologized immediately on the field," Bowden said after Thursday's practice.

The Clemson administration apologized Thursday by issuing a new postgame policy for fans access to the playing field starting after this Saturday's S.C. State game. Fan access to Frank Howard Field will be delayed approximately three minutes until the visiting team and coaching staff have departed. Bowden said he supports the university's move after last week's incident.

"Our administration has a good firm hand how it handles fans access to the field following home football games and I will let them handle that and all of those decisions," he said.

Bowden said it isn't the first time an incident like this has occurred, almost implying it has maybe happened to him on a few occasions.

"Come live in the world I live in," he joked with reporters.

The Clemson coach isn't surprised that people sometimes act like that because of long tailgating parties before games and maybe a few who sneak in a beverage or two during a game. No alcohol is sold inside Memorial Stadium.

"Three hours drinking before the game, three hours drinking after the game, that is six hours of drinking," he said. "I'm not an expert in drinking, but coming up to somebody's face and saying something, it usually takes an extra shot of courage."

The policy will not detract from Clemson's tradition of allowing fans to run onto the field to get players' autographs. Fans will still be allowed to gather at the Tiger Paw at midfield with Clemson players for the playing of the alma mater, and be allowed to interact with Clemson players for a short period of time after the game.

Fans may remain on the field for 30 minutes, the same period of time as in the past.

"It is important that fans cooperate," Clemson police Chief Johnson Link said. "While we appreciate the long standing tradition of Gathering at the Paw, it is important that people recognize that safety and security of all are paramount."

INJURY UPDATES: Clemson linebacker Scotty Cooper is probable for Saturday's game after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday because of flu like symptoms. DeAndre McDaniel will start regardless at strongside linebacker.

Punter Dawson Zimmerman is also list as probable and Bowden admitted he could look into redshirting the freshman if he hasn't already played the required percentage of the season. A player can play no more than 30 percent of a season.

Reserve wide receiver Terrence Ashe is also listed as probable with a sprained ankle.

Middle linebacker Brandon Maye, who missed last week's game after being sick all week, will start Saturday.

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