Sources: Family Of Clemson “Superstar” Got Free Lodging
ALLEGATIONS DATE BACK TO 2010 WHEN TIGERS WERE RECRUITING UNNAMED PLAYER
The family of a Clemson University football “superstar” allegedly received improper benefits from a Florida hotel executive with close ties to former Tigers’ assistant coach Brad Scott, multiple sources tell FITS.
The benefits – which reportedly included free lodging at the luxurious Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa in Fort Myers, Florida – were allegedly provided to the player’s family in 2010 while he was a Clemson recruit.
Multiple employees at the resort have confirmed that the player’s family was put up at the hotel for an extended period in 2010. They have also confirmed reports that the hotel’s general manager – Cory Clark – bragged about the arrangement.
Attempts to reach Clark and Clemson regarding these reports were unsuccessful.
Our sources have yet to name the player whose family allegedly received these improper benefits, but the resort in question is located in the hometown of Clemson All-American freshman wideout Sammy Watkins – and Watkins is the only player on the Tigers’ roster from Fort Myers.
Also, with due respect to the other Sunshine Staters on Clemson’s roster – Watkins is the only one who can reasonably lay claim to the “superstar” mantle.
Scott – a former Florida State assistant and University of South Carolina head coach – retired as Clemson’s offensive line coach in February of 2011 to take an administrative position within the Clemson football program. Sources have confirmed that Scott and Clark met at a Hootie and the Blowfish “Monday After the Masters” golf tournament several years ago.
Our sources also say that the NCAA recently began looking into the allegations but has yet to decide whether to open a formal investigation.
Obviously gifts – including free or reduced lodging – to family members of college prospects are expressly forbidden by the NCAA.
The Tigers won their first ACC championship in 20 years in 2011, although a potential “dream season” season ended on a disastrous note when West Virginia obliterated Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl. The Tigers started the season 8-0 but lost four of their last six games – including a third straight defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
FITS is continuing to investigate these allegations and will bring you additional information – including responses from Clark and Clemson – as soon as they are available.