"First of all, before I get into everything that happened, the way I handled it was dead wrong," added Clayton Moore. "What I said to my coach was wrong. No matter how wrong I thought my coach was, no player has the right to react like I did. But at the same time, I was not 100% at fault. I take full responsibility for the words I said, but it should have never gotten to that point. I do not want to get on here and talk bad about my coaches because that is not the way I was raised. I also do not want to be a distraction for my teammates. Dennis Thames has done a great job of leading our team, and I want my teammates to bring back home the trophy as if I were playing with them. It still means everything to me, no matter what my feelings are towards my coaches. My teammates and my school still mean everything to me."
The friction that started between
Clayton and his coaches go all the way back to when he suffered a stress fracture
to his back last summer.
"All year I have been battling the injury
bug. I had the stress fracture but played through it until the doctors told me
that I could not play anymore. They told me that I had to sit out 4 to 6 six weeks.
There were some hard feelings by the staff towards me when I missed those games.
The coaches made me feel like I was not wanted. I already the reputation of being
a fiery competitor anyway. Now that this has happened, they are going around saying
I am a hot head, and that hurts."
What happened Friday that caused
everything to come to a head?
"We had a play called that I audible.
When I got back to the sideline; coach did not like it. One thing led to another,
and then he told me I could no longer be a part of the team, but I never quit.
I came out at half-time, and he stopped me at the gate and said I could not come
out with my teammates. I was like, man, we are only up 21-14 and Aberdeen is playing
good. I did not want to let my teammates down by not being there for them, but
they would not let me on the sidelines with my teammates. I knew they would not
let me on the sideline because of what I said, and I know I handled it in the
wrong way, but this has been going on with the coaches all year. My family has
even been affected by this, and now they are questioning my heart and that is
a slap in my face. That is the one thing I want to be remembered by, being there
for my teammates. I could care less if I am remembered for being a great player;
I just want to be remembered as a player that is always there for my teammates.
That is what hurts the most, people saying that I put myself in front of the team,
because I would never do that, never."
Moore was being advised by
his doctors, friends, and family members to sit out the remainder of the season
when he was diagnosed with having a fracture in his back but Clayton came back.
kept telling me that I already had my scholarship and do not do anything to jeopardize
my future, but I was never going to let my teammates down, so I came back even
though I was advised not to. And then my coaches turn their back on me. It was
like, what have you done for me lately. That was hard on me. Things just kept
building and building and building inside me and it never came out. It all came
to a boiling point on the sideline after I called an audible. They snapped at
me, and I snapped back. Like I said, I apologize for that."
coaches informed him today that he will not be able to be there with the team
for the State Championship game this weekend.
"They called and told
me of their decision. I told them that I respect their decision, and that is their
right to make any decision they feel is in the best interest of the team. It really
hurts not being able to go through this last game with my teammates that I have
literally sweat blood for since we were in peewee together, but I respect their
decision and will not be a distraction for them."
The news got worse
this morning when Ole Miss informed the 6' 2", 205 pound quarterback that
his scholarship was now in jeopardy.
"My father spoke to the Ole Miss
coaches after Coach Peterson contacted them first. They told dad that they wanted
me to walk on in the spring, and if everything went good, they would put me on
scholarship in the fall. Coach Nix called me late Sunday afternoon and asked if
my dad was there. I told him that he was not around, and he asked me to get him
to call him when he got back home. I knew it was not good because me and Coach
Nix talk all of the time and that was all that was said. My father did get a chance
to talk to him tonight, and Coach Nix said that Coach Nutt wanted to have a face
to face meeting with me when he got back from a recruiting trip on Tuesday or
Wednesday. I just want to look them in the eye and explain everything that has
happened. God puts obstacles in front of all of us, and you can either meet them
head on or run from them. I plan to meet mine head on and take it like a man."
Clayton Moore at a crossroads
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