Clemson and South Carolina Decline Bowl Bids after Brawling

Jeff Quinton reports that officials at both the University of South Carolina and Clemson University have announced they will not accept bowl bids after a brawl that ensued at their game this past weekend.

As USC Athletic Director Mike McGhee explained:

THIS WAS NOT A KNEE JERK REACTION TO THE MOST UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT ON SATURDAY. AFTER MUCH CONSULTATION BETWEEN THE SEC OFFICE, WITH THE PRESIDENTS, ATHLETICS DIRECTORS AND ADMINISTRATION OF BOTH SCHOOLS, WE FELT IT WAS NECESSARY TO DECLINE ANY BOWL INVITATION WE WOULD RECEIVE THIS YEAR.

THE ACTIONS ON SATURDAY ARE NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE CORE VALUES, MORALS AND ETHICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. WHILE WE ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO BUILDING CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS AT CAROLINA, WE ARE EVEN MORE COMMITTED TO SEEING STUDENT-ATHLETES DEVELOP WITH THE FINEST INTEGRITY AND CHARACTER POSSIBLE …

WHILE THIS DECISION WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL IMPACT ON USC AND WILL ALSO LOSE A MONTH OF PRE-BOWL PRACTICE IT WAS A DECISION THAT HAD TO BE MADE …

FOOTBALL IS A TEAM SPORT. THE PUNISHMENT WILL BE ONE THAT WILL AFFECT THE ENTIRE TEAM. THE PLAYERS ACTED WITHOUT THINKING. I AM CERTAIN THEY FEEL EMBARRASSED, UPSET, AND SORRY THAT IT HAPPENED. BUT, REGRET AND REMORSE DO NOT EXCUSE THESE ACTIONS FROM BEING PUNISHED. THE TEAM NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE CHOSE TO TAKE THESE ACTIONS AND KNOW THIS IS THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION …

ULTIMATELY, THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH SOUTH CAROLINA FOOTBALL ARE CHARACTER, COURAGE, PERSEVERANCE, SACRIFICE, INTEGRITY AND SELF-CONTROL. WE CANNOT AND WILL NOT ALLOW LAPSES OF THESE LIFE-LONG LESSONS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. THE CAROLINA ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT AND ITS FOOTBALL STUDENT-ATHLETES AND ATHLETICS DIRECTOR EXPRESS THEIR DEEPEST APOLOGIES FOR THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN THIS TERRIBLY UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT.

A classy gesture on the part of both schools. Granted, both teams are 6-5 and neither is headed to a first tier bowl. But even a minor bowl is worth several hundred thousands of dollars and, as McGee noted, a month of extra practice time to prepare the underclassmen for next season.

FILED UNDER: Education, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.