Tony Barnhart’s post yesterday on Ray Ray McElrathbey’s situation is a doozy. Entitling his piece “No tears for Ray Ray”, Barnhart asserts that coaches sometimes have to make tough decisions for the good of the program and this is such a case.
That’s fine, as far as it goes. But here’s what gets me. Barnhart claims that “… Bowden is not going to say anything publicly because he doesn’t want to embarrass the kid. So he’ll take the heat.”
Except that’s said after printing this:
The fact is that McElrathbey has been known to have issues with the coaching staff and was less than consistent when it came to attending team functions. The time had come for a change in the relationship for the good of the entire team…
Pardon me if I can’t find anything complimentary in that passage. Unless Barnhart made that up out of thin air, that info had to come from the Clemson staff. But no one is quoted directly. So, Bowden can still claim he hasn’t made a disparaging public comment – he’s just using surrogates in the press to make his point.
All of which is pretty weaselly. Which is the real problem I have with father and son in this oversigning mess.
Yes, kids get run off programs all of the time. Yes, the athletic scholarship is renewable on a year to year basis. And, yes, both of these student athletes will obtain college degrees thanks to being on athletic scholarships.
All of which misses what’s really wrong here. To the extent that oversigning occurred, that the absence of these kids from their respective programs in 2008 was part of the math factored into making offers that led to oversigning and, most importantly, that these kids weren’t told before offers were extended to others that they had no future with their programs is both dishonest and indefensible.
The question that Barnhart and others should ask is what would the status of these two kids likely be right now if FSU and Clemson hadn’t oversigned their most recent classes. Somehow I doubt we’d be having this discourse right now. And those two would be puking their guts out in mat drills this morning. All for the good of their programs…