A Clemson football player who gained national attention by becoming the legal guardian of his little brother had his scholarship taken away.
Phil Taylor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED updates the latest sad turn of Ray Ray McElrathbey, who was able to get the NCAA to allow him to accept financial assistance to help raise his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr. But Tommy Bowden decided that Ray Ray’s scholarship money could go to better uses:
Although Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has been vague in his explanations, it appears that he pulled McElrathbey’s scholarship because, after signing 25 new recruits last month, the Tigers had to take away some existing scholarships to stay under the NCAA maximum of 85. With several running backs ahead of him on the depth chart, Ray Ray became expendable. “We’re pretty good at running back right now,” coach Tommy Bowden said, as if that was the only issue.
Cold-blooded? Heartless? You bet. Having one more scholarship to hand out isn’t going to change Clemson’s program in any significant way, but losing it certainly could change Ray Ray and Fahmarr’s lives.
And the decision also changes Bowden’s & Clemson’s perception in public opinion. The school, that had such a feel good story about a young man taking responsibility and doing something right, can now been seen a greedy, heartless program who could care less about their players’ problems if they’re not All-American selections.
But maybe another college can take advantage of Clemson’s apathy and offer McElrathbey a new scholarship. Such a generous offer would do a lot for the new school’s goodwill - and get them some good publicity.
As for Bowden & crew? Hope they enjoy another 6-6 Champs Sports Bowl-loss season.