March 16, 2005
One of the joys of working in intercollegiate athletics is being a part of the growth and education of our student-athletes. That is celebrated on our campus in a variety of ways, ranging from each sport’s end-of-year banquet to graduation ceremonies. As athletic director, such occasions are reaffirming and uplifting.
The other side of that picture occurs, unfortunately, when student-athletes do not perform or behave up their potential. In some cases, a student-athlete comes to realize the damaging effects negative or destructive behavior can have, corrects the behavior and grows in a profound way from the experience.
In other cases, sadly, the student-athlete may face the prospect of expulsion from school and possible legal problems that could have far-reaching effects. No school is immune from such instances.
Great care is taken — I believe by most universities and I know by Clemson — to minimize those episodes. Potential student-athletes are screened very diligently during the recruiting process in regards to character and citizenship. Our hope is to minimize problems at the outset.
Nevertheless, as mentioned by Greenville News sports columnist Bart Wright recently: “Trouble visits every school eventually.” While knowing trouble’s inevitability, we wish it for no other institution. Nor do we wish it for any student-athlete of that institution. As also has been said, we do not define our success by the failure of our competitors.
We appreciate the Clemson spirit and good sportsmanship that is a Clemson tradition. Our goal is to nurture it and leave it in good stead for succeeding generations.
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