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Current Issues with Dr. Phillips

Current Issues with Dr. Phillips

Sept. 12, 2006

Note: Since this article was written, the NCAA has granted a waiver for McElrathbey to help him care for his younger brother.

“We are very grateful to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA for their assistance in this matter,” said Terry Don Phillips, Clemson’s director of athletics. “We had to follow a procedure and the ACC and NCAA were sensitive to the unique situation.

“While there are certain aspects of this waiver that can take effect immediately, like transportation for Fahmarr to school, we are in the process of establishing a trust that will support him in some basic needs. As soon as the trust is established we will release the information.”

A great deal of media coverage has been devoted recently to family issues involving one of our football players, Ray Ray McElrathby. I thought I would speak this week to several of the issues involved in the situation.

Anytime something comes up that touches on NCAA compliance, as the case does with Ray Ray McElrathby and his brother (Fahmarr), our initial phone call is not to the NCAA. It is to the Atlantic Coast Conference for guidance and counsel.

We ask them for the appropriate interpretation of the applicable rules according to facts that we provide. The conference office is very good and quick to respond to all member schools regarding the appropriate interpretation to whatever situation may exist.

That is what occurred when we reported Ray Ray’s situation. They provided an interpretation that whatever help we provided would be extremely limited in nature — primarily through the student-athlete opportunity fund, which serves our student-athletes, but it is limited.

We learned that if we needed to go beyond that, we needed to make an appeal for a waiver of the extra benefits legislation. We worked with the conference to draft the appeal.

The appeal is now with the NCAA. The NCAA reviews it and renders a final decision of what relief there may be.

This week our football team is out of town at Florida State. Many of our fans and supporters will be there. However, if you are not traveling to Tallahassee, we strongly encourage you to come up Friday night to Riggs Field at 8 PM to watch a tremendous matchup in soccer.

We are playing North Carolina, which is ranked in one poll at no. 1. The game is being televised live on Fox Soccer Channel.

It would be tremendous if Riggs Field is packed to support our men’s soccer team. It will be an outstanding game. It is an opportunity to showcase our soccer program nationally.

In Solid Orange, Terry Don Phillips Athletic Director