Thursday, July 20, 2006

New recruiting shenanigans against Clemson?

First there was Spillergate, in which Clemson officials alleged some dirty dealing by Florida's football staff in the recruiting of C.J. Spiller. Now, there's, um, Cumbiegate?

It seems that Clemson signee Jamie Cumbie, who chose the Tigers over Notre Dame, kept getting the hard sell from the Irish even after he had verbally committed to Clemson. In fact, Notre Dame allegedly said some really nasty things about the little school from the Upstate.

I called B.S. on Clemson whining about the Spillergate nonsense, but to me, this seems to have a little more substance behind it, despite the fact that it's not even close to being an NCAA violation.

First of all, it's Cumbie talking to the media, not the coaching staff. (If you recall from Spillergate, it was the coaching staff who leaked the flimsy allegations, and Spiller had to step up a couple of days later and say the whole thing was much ado about nothing.) Secondly, it comes on the heels of Gamecock recruit Gary Gray suddenly backing out of his commitment so he could sign with the Irish, so chalk it up to one of those things that make you go hmmmm.

* Tommy Bowden, do something! That's the thrust of this column from The Sporting News on how Clemson's coach hasn't exactly been a world-beater during his time in Tigertown. Now, some commenters on Tigernet's message boards were upset by the comments from "an ACC coach," but who can deny that Bowden has been a serious underachiever during his tenure? And no, I don't think you can chalk that up to Clemson fans having unreasonable expectations. But when you lose to Wake Forest on a fairly consistent basis and have to scramble to make a bowl nearly every year despite having plenty of talented players, it kind of leaves a bad taste.

* We're No. 24: The Tuscaloosa News ranks Clemson's football program as the 24th best in college football history. That sounds pretty good to me.

* The smaller the Berry: Clemson offensive lineman Barry Richardson has trimmed down and bulked up. Kinda what I want to do.

* Tigers in the NFL: As of this moment, there are 25 former Clemson players on NFL rosters.

* Uniform rankings: The Sporting Gnomes find a site that ranks Clemson's uniforms fifth in the ACC. Our helmets get much love, but it seems that the rest of the ensemble left a bad taste.

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