Category Archives: Tommy Bowden: Male Model

“I kind of feel his pain.”

What to do if you’re Tommy Bowden and you’ve got more scholarship players than the NCAA allows?

Well, you could always hope for just the right amount of attrition, a la Nick Saban. Or you could simply get a little more proactive with matters.

Ray Ray McElrathbey is done with football at Clemson, and a teammate said it’s because the Tigers’ coaching staff decided not to renew his scholarship for the 2008-09 academic year.

Clemson announced Saturday that McElrathbey, a reserve tailback who gained national fame for taking custody of his younger brother, is no longer with the team. Team spokesman Tim Bourret said McElrathbey, who has two years of football eligibility remaining, will graduate in August and plans to attend graduate school or transfer and play elsewhere.

James Davis, a senior tailback for the Tigers, said McElrathbey told him he didn’t have a choice.

“He said something about how they weren’t going to renew his scholarship,” said Davis, who has been friends with McElrathbey since their high school days in Atlanta. “It really surprised me. But there’s a lot of stuff you can’t say. It’s something I guess everybody has to learn to live with.”

It sounds like nobody can say. According to Davis, McElrathbey ain’t talking because he “doesn’t want them to badmouth his name if he wants to play football somewhere else.” And Tommy’s hiding behind the veil of plausible deniability.

After Clemson wrapped up its first practice of the spring Saturday, which Ray Ray did not participate in, Coach Tommy Bowden did not confirm or deny that he initiated McElrathbey’s departure to free up a scholarship.

Will there be a backlash? Davis seems to think that’s a possibility.

Davis wonders whether all this will have negative recruiting repercussions for the Tigers.

“There’s a lot of guys they recruit in Atlanta,” he said. “People are going to ask: ‘What happened to Ray Ray?’ His high school (Mays High), they’ve got a lot of talented guys coming out of there.”

By “people”, I assume he means “coaches from other schools competing for Clemmins recruits”.

It’s probably a good thing for Bowden that Davis is a senior. I bet he’d be a helluva host for some of next year’s recruits.


UPDATE: The Wiz has some more thoughts on this.


UPDATE #2:  Orson at EDSBS has some good follow up on the story.  As he says, your mileage may vary.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

We have to admit it’s getting better… it’s getting better all the time.

When last we left our intrepid heroes, the head football coaches from the two D-1 programs in the Palmetto State, both were  plainly upset about the inability of the pointy heads in the admissions offices at their two respective institutions of higher learning to get with the program.

The football program, that is.

But it’s clear with the passing of a year that time heals all wounds. Check out Steve Spurrier, channelling his inner Chico Escuela:

“The university’s been very good with us,” Spurrier said Wednesday.

That’s nice.  Tommy concurs.

“I applaud our administration for working out a system that pretty much levels the playing field,” Bowden said Wednesday.


So what exactly did the schools do?  South Carolina doesn’t say explicitly, but at Clemmins the steps taken to grease the skids

… included not tying admissions to the national letter of intent and letting the athletic review committee use a program’s NCAA graduation success rate and academic progress rate in a sliding scale to determine a student-athlete’s admission.

And with that, peace in our time.  Everyone involved is at least… well, let’s let Tommy have the last word here.

… Spurrier doesn’t expect to call any recruits with bad admissions news this time around. And Bowden thinks Clemson’s policy changes were “awful advantageous” this year.

In addition, Bowden says, those in academics at the school and those in the “athletic arena are relatively happy with where we are.”

Everything is relative, you know.

I think Tommy came out the big winner on this.  According to Scout, Clemmins recruiting ranking rose from 23rd in 2007 to 11th in 2008.  South Carolina’s numbers actually fell from 7th to 34th in that same period.  (Rivals tells a similar tale with its rankings.)  Maybe there’s room in Columbia to do a little more tweaking with the admissions process.

After all, if at first you don’t succeed…

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Recruiting, The Evil Genius, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

He couldn’t find a purple sport coat?

As fashion statements go, jeez, this is heinous.

Honestly, he’d look better in an Oregon jersey.

(h/t Fanblogs


Filed under Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Tommy Bowden is a big fan of Southern Conference football.

Or at least the Appalachian State-Furman rivalry.

And if you’re a midwesterner, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Detroit Free Press Writer, you can’t understand that. And if you can’t understand that, you can’t understand Tommy Bowden.

“I was shocked,” Bowden said. “Appalachian State and Furman are rivals, so it would be very natural for me to make a comparison. I guess people in that part of the country are not familiar with the Appalachian State-Furman rivalry and how close it’s been.”

By the way, last year ASU beat Furman 40-7. But I’m sure the game was much closer than the score indicated.


Filed under College Football, General Idiocy, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

Envy and jealousy: Tommy Bowden punked edition

I know it’s not a blogger’s post, but there’s so much to love about this short article about Tommy Bowden’s lack of class after the titanic struggle with Furman (starting, of course, with the aforementioned classlessness), that I had to give it the ol’ Envy and Jealousy tip of the cap.

Bowden’s jerkiness in taking a crack at Carr (who won, by the way, Tommy) is deeply obnoxious. It’s bad enough that I hope Lloyd Carr gets a chance to fire a cheap shot of his own when all is said and done.

But even if he does, it’s unlikely he can top the opener of this piece:

Guess all those Peach Bowl appearances have gone to Clemson coach Tommy Bowden’s head.

There’s no author credited, which is a shame, but whoever you are out there at the Detroit Free Press, damn, that was a good one. I bet even Spurrier wishes he’d said it.


Filed under Envy and Jealousy, Tommy Bowden: Male Model

L’université, c’est moi.

I thought Steve Spurrier was coming on a bit too strong about admission standards a few days ago when he threatened to leave if he didn’t get his way, but compared to Clemmin’s Tommy Bowden, the Ol’ Ball Coach is positively restrained:

Spurrier nearly crossed the line when he challenged the USC administration. Bowden is out of bounds when he says all athletes eligible by NCAA standards should be admitted to Clemson.

“That’s what you’d like,” Bowden said. “They’re going to pay me all this money and put me in charge, then I’d like to make the decisions (about admissions).”

I bet he would.

In his mind, the school really shouldn’t have any say so in its own admissions standards because it ceded those away.

His claim is that a commission of university presidents several years ago established minimum NCAA guidelines for prospective athletes to be admitted to school. Thus, he says, schools should abide by those minimum standards.

“They took the presidents and they spent years and invested millions of dollars and said, OK, if he gets an 820 (SAT score) and 2.5 (GPA), for the most part, he can succeed in college,” Bowden said. “Now, who are we to say, wait a minute, no, no, not this school they can’t (be admitted and succeed). That’s where I have a problem.”

I never realized that setting minimum academic standards was so expensive. Tommy’s just trying to make sure everybody’s getting their money’s worth here – you pay him, you pay these other guys, the least you can do is use their positions to erode your own admission standards.

And it’s a good deal. The AD and the president thought they were spending all that money on Tommy’s salary to manage the football program. Little did they know that Tommy would offer a twofer for the money – he’ll run the admissions office, too. Sweet!

Actually, we may need to make that a threefer. It looks like Tommy’s also interested in doing a little lobbying work.

Near the end of his conversation with a couple of reporters Sunday, Bowden was told that the state of Mississippi has a court order that deals with special admissions for athletes. The order says that any prospective athlete eligible under NCAA standards must be admitted to a state supported school.

“I think that’s great legislation,” Bowden said, repeating for emphasis, “I think that’s great legislation.”


Filed under Academics? Academics., ACC Football, Recruiting, Tommy Bowden: Male Model