Don’t cry for me, Argentina.

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…


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

7 responses to “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.

  1. Kit

    Amen. I’ve been blasting Tommy Bowden in my past two posts only to be blasted right back by Anonymous Clemson fans essentially telling me what I douche bag I am.

    The only point to be made is the one you listed above. This situation is a gratuitous mess of oversigning a class and finding kids on track to graduate early so they can boot them without suffering any consequences.

    It’s not about RR’s problems on the field. Courtney Vincent was arrested for DUI back in December and then suspended for the entire spring practice for a “violation of team rules.” He’s still yet to miss a game as the MLB for the Tigers.

    TB is one of those people that REALLY needs his a** kicked.


  2. I don’t have a problem with oversigning per se if a coach knows for certain he’s got fallout coming that’s fairly innocuous in how it’s to be handled – kids that are clearly going to have to go on medical scholarships or kids that aren’t going to qualify academically, for example – as long as everyone affected is clear on what’s going on and what’s going to happen.

    What’s unsavory about the situations at Clemmins and FSU is that the coaches had apparently made decisions in advance on how they were going to proceed but deliberately left their kids in the dark about developments.

    Plus, Tommy is trying to have it both ways with his “silence”.


  3. I just wonder who Barnhart took this article from…..


  4. HVLDawg

    So you’ve got a kid who’s about finished his degree, who’s not going to set foot on the field at Death Valley next year, who’s not going to the NFL… his big time football playing days are over.
    So Coach Bowden knew all this was going to happen when he was signing the Richt kid out of Athen Christian School. Would you all feel better about this if Tommy told RR on January 1?

    How many kids will Saban have to cut? Unless there is a rule change, this looks like the way things are going in college football. Are we going to sit back and whine while every other team restocks?

    We’d better figure out how we’re going to play along.


  5. tangweasel

    “Play along?”
    No thanks! I prefer the way UGA handled the Albert Hollis situation.


  6. Would you all feel better about this if Tommy told RR on January 1?

    To be honest, yes. These aren’t professional players, and it’s not like the end of training camp when the Turk tells you to turn in your playbook on the way out the door.

    These kids at the very least deserve the dignity of an honest evaluation of their situation. I don’t see why that’s so hard to provide.



    Sure these guys are expendable and it is not fair. When the coaches sign them they promise the world. I have heard it said that Ray Ray has struggled academically and been late to team meetings, if that were so how did he graduate with honors in three years? How did he maintain the dicipline that it takes to raise his brother make the honor roll and stay out trouble in spite of the rate of failure of kids his age with a lot less responsibility? Why weren’t his parents notified if there was a problem he also has Guardian why weren’t they notified? This whole thing stinks if you ask me. I also hate when I hear that he got a free education. When you say free do you only mean monetarily or did you think of sacrafice and committment and the time that it takes to maintain a sports scholarship? And what about all of the free publicity that Clemson gained as a result his unfortunate family situation and the presence of mind that he used to help resolve it while still remaining loyal to Clemson as a team. I spoke to Ray Ray and he was very proud to be a Clemson Football player his family was also proud of the fact that he played for Clemson. Although this is tough for Ray, he is such a remarkable young man and he does not know the meaning of the word I can’t he will somehow turn this situation into a positive one, trust me this is not the last you’ll hear from him . I wonder if his family is still so proud of Clemson? Would you be?