Monday, March 10, 2008

Clemson and Bowden Pull Ray Ray's Scholarship

Remember Ray Ray McElrathbey?

The Clemson backup running back garnered national prominence after taking custody of his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr in 2006. The parents were both addicts; his mother to drugs and his father to gambling. Ray Ray McElrathbey was the man to step up and look after his brother.

McElrathbey then received a waiver from the NCAA, allowing him to receive assistance from Clemson and the public. This rare accommodation enable McElrathbey to care of his younger brother while maintain his collegiate eligibility.

McElrathbey and the university were applauded nationwide.

That is, until Saturday. Clemson announced that McElrathbey, despite having two years of football eligibility remaining, was no longer a member of the team since Ray was going to graduate in August.

Apparently, there is more to the story. Tiger tailback James Davis says McElrathbey did not have the option to stay on the team. The coaching staff decided not to renew McElrathbey's scholarship for the 2008-09 season. Clemson, coincidentally, is over the limit of eighty-five scholarship players, too.

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, when asked about the situation, said, "We're pretty good at running back right now."

Running back James Davis said McElrathbey was expecting Bowden to pull his scholarship. "He said something about how they weren't going to renew his scholarship," said Davis, grew up with McElrathbey in Atlanta. "It really surprised me. But there's a lot of stuff you can't say. It's something I guess everybody has to learn to live with."

Considering the support McElrathbey would receive if he were to go public with story, why has he yet to speak out? According to Davis, McElrathbey will not speak out publicly with his side of the story because he "doesn't want them to badmouth his name if he wants to play football somewhere else."

It is simply disgusting the way Clemson and Tommy Bowden turned their back on Ray Ray McElrathbey. Since I could have not said it any better, I will simply concur with the guys at Wizard of Odds, who write:

Last December, Bowden used an offer from Arkansas as leverage to get a new contract and a fat raise out of Clemson. And now he has discarded Ray Ray McElrathbey because he thinks he can do better.

Bowden can go to Hell on this one.

Let this be a lesson to any recruit interested in playing for Bowden or any other coach who demands long-term security from their employer, but fails to show the same respect to their players. We can only hope a tsunami of negative publicity results from Bowden's decision because frankly, college football can use more kids like McElrathbey, a kid who has more character than his former coach.

3 comments:

Anonymous,  March 18, 2008 at 5:45 PM  

What is really going on here? Something is rotten to the core, and I'm hesitant to say just what that is. Can anyone shed light on this thing?????

Drew H. March 18, 2008 at 7:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew H. March 18, 2008 at 7:13 PM  

Here's the story.

Bowden went over the scholarship limit for new recruits. The backfield had good depth. Ray Ray wasn't going to play. Bowden "suggested" Ray Ray move on. Davis said Ray Ray was forced out, though he had two years of eligibility remaining. Ray Ray fears Bowden will talk about about him to other schools if he speaks out. After word of what Bowden did was leaked, Bowden offered Ray Ray a job as a graduate assistant.

That is, for the most part, the story. (I skipped over the stuff about how he came to fame in the first place.)

About the Undrafted Free Agent

Ron Crimson was the only player on the high school roster to not get in a game. He couldn't argue with the decision, because he sucked. Needless to say, yet stated anyway, when he entered the NBA draft following his sophomore season in college, he went undrafted. Now, Ron Crimson is the Undrafted Free Agent.

Contact the Undrafted Free Agent

Interested in informing the Undrafted Free Agent of his mistakes, advertisement opportunities, or a scoop on the latest sports scandal? (You can guess which is more likely.) Well, email him at undraftedfreeagent [at] gmail.com.

Look at This!

There's nothing here; I just needed to fill some space. Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! Space eater! I also needed to balance it out a bit.

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