View Full Version : Clemson Football Sucks

Pitt Gorilla
03-12-2008, 03:04 PM

McElrathbeys deserved better from Bowden, Clemson

Posted: Wednesday March 12, 2008 2:49PM; Updated: Wednesday March 12, 2008 2:49PM

Warning: What follows may be hazardous to your belief in happy endings.

If you remember the uplifting story of Ray Ray McElrathbey, the Clemson running back who rescued his younger brother from a bleak home life two years ago by bringing the boy to live with him and becoming his legal guardian, you may not want to know about the latest developments in his saga, which aren't nearly so heartwarming. This is the world of big-time college athletics and, sooner or later, that world almost always turns cold.

McElrathbey first gained national attention in 2006, after taking over custody of his brother Fahmarr, who was 11 at the time. Fahmarr had been in and out of foster care in Atlanta for much of his childhood -- just as Ray Ray had -- because of their father's gambling problems and their mother's addiction to crack cocaine. Once McElrathbey was settled at Clemson with a football scholarship, he decided to help his little brother escape that life as well by giving Fahmarr a stable home -- his own.

It was a sweet story made sweeter by the normally soulless NCAA, which granted the financially strapped McElrathbey a waiver allowing him to accept monetary aid from the university and the public in the form of a trust fund for Fahmarr, as well as home care from coaches' families for him while Ray Ray in class or at practice. McElrathbey was widely and deservedly praised for character and maturity beyond his years and Clemson was credited for having a football program with a heart.

But that happy tale took a disheartening turn earlier this week when Clemson announced that McElerathbey's scholarship would not be renewed even though he has two more years of eligibility remaining. Contrary to popular belief, football scholarships are not guaranteed four-year rides, but year-to-year deals that can be pulled at the school's discretion.

Although Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has been vague in his explanations, it appears that he pulled McElrathbey's scholarship because, after signing 25 new recruits last month, the Tigers had to take away some existing scholarships to stay under the NCAA maximum of 85. With several running backs ahead of him on the depth chart, Ray Ray became expendable. "We're pretty good at running back right now," coach Tommy Bowden said, as if that was the only issue.

Cold-blooded? Heartless? You bet. Having one more scholarship to hand out isn't going to change Clemson's program in any significant way, but losing it certainly could change Ray Ray and Fahmarr's lives.

Ray Ray now has the choice of transferring to another school to finish his eligibility (if he can find one willing to offer him a scholarship), or he could finish his degree requirements over the summer, enroll in graduate school at Clemson and accept an offer to become a football graduate assistant, a position that would pay for his tuition, but not his room and board.

In short, the McElrathbey brothers' lives are again up in the air thanks to Bowden's lack of compassion. Apparently having an extra inside linebacker or tight end is more important to him than showing loyalty to a young man who has given three years of effort to the program -- to someone trying to raise a teenager.

McElrathbey hasn't spoken publicly since the decision. Teammate and friend James Davis suggests he doesn't want to speak negatively about Clemson for fear it would discourage other schools from offering him a scholarship. If that's the case, at least it indicates that McElrathbey is planning on leaving Clemson behind, which is the smart thing to do, since Clemson has done exactly that to him.

Fear not for the McElrathbey brothers. They have overcome far greater obstacles than this one, and it's unlikely that they will let Clemson's callous decision derail them for long.

Whatever the future holds, Ray Ray should be remembered at Clemson as a young man who understood the meaning of commitment and character. A college is supposed to provide its students with an education but, in the end, it's a shame that Clemson's program didn't learn more from him.

Thig Lyfe
03-12-2008, 03:07 PM
That's pretty shitty on Bowden's part.

Ya gotta think a smart coach will take advantage of this opportunity for loads of positive publicity.

03-12-2008, 03:21 PM
What a dick.

03-12-2008, 03:27 PM
That is really cold of Bowden and the University. There have been a number of times that I have heard of coaches kicking a player off the team for behavior issues yet let them keep their scholarship so they can finish their education. I read another story on Ray that stated Ray suffered a knee injury last season and the knee will never be the same, thus moving him down the depth chart. Way to go Clemson, use em up then boot em to the curb.

03-12-2008, 03:29 PM
you'd think the school or the boosters might step up to help him out anyway

03-12-2008, 03:32 PM
Well, after all, it is <i>Clemson</i> we're talking about....Tommy probably had a football player who deserved the spot more because of his academic achievements...

03-12-2008, 04:25 PM
What a trash program. Believe it or not, many head coaches do not pull scholarships from active players just to turn around and hand them to new recruits.

That is a soulless program and coach, and I will be rooting against Bowden from here on out.

LiL stumppy
03-12-2008, 04:33 PM
What a dick, I have never heard of a coach pulling an active scholarship away, all though I haven't been following college football for too long, none the less, still doesn't like it happens very often.

03-12-2008, 05:11 PM
Atleast he got a couple years of free education out of it. That was probably worth 80 grand or so.

03-12-2008, 05:18 PM
Atleast he got a couple years of free education out of it. That was probably worth 80 grand or so.

Part of a degree for someone in this guy's shoes is almost worthless.

Where's he going to get the money to finish? And without a diploma, two years of Clemson isn't going to help a lot in the job market.

Clemson probably makes a decent amount of money off their football program, it's BS that they'd do this. It's not like the guy got in trouble or couldn't make it to class between games and banging cheerleaders.

03-12-2008, 06:21 PM
Congrats Clemson: One of the only teams that I will ever go out of my way to root AGAINST. Bowden is a Grade A DICK.

Pitt Gorilla
03-13-2008, 12:34 AM
I really hope this becomes a big story.

03-13-2008, 08:23 AM
[QUOTE=pikesome;4627860]Part of a degree for someone in this guy's shoes is almost worthless.

He could try to transfer the credits to a different school, and some college education is better than nothing.

03-13-2008, 08:28 AM
All of the Bowdens are scumbags. This is a surprise?

03-13-2008, 08:33 AM
Big time college athletics where winning is what matters......

When James Davis came back, CJ Spiller already there and another top notch RB committed they pulled it. I guess they didn't think about the story and pretty much said "look we don't think you are going to help us at all so we're pulling it"

Pitt Gorilla
03-13-2008, 09:39 AM
MU had an O-lineman who became very sick and had to give up football prior to ever taking a snap. He's still on scholarship.