Commentary: The Column Not Written and Miles Aldridge


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON, SC -- Sometimes the best columns are the ones never written.

Or at least published.

Such was the case Tuesday night, when I scrapped a piece on Clemson center Adam Allenspach that was composed on press row during the Tigers' 57-44 win over Northwestern.

The column was meant to be a funny, roundabout way of complimenting the 7-foot-1 senior on his solid performance against the Wildcats, set against the backdrop of the struggles he's had early this season.

Though not vicious by any stretch of the imagination, some of the cute (I thought) lines may not have sat well with Allenspach or others associated with the Clemson program. Which is fine by me. I don't mind someone getting angry at something I write, as long as I know I'm being truthful and accurate, even in a sarcastic way.

Hell, there have been times I've gone out of my way to make people angry, just to see if they were paying attention.

However, Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt unknowingly played editor and killed my column in his postgame press conference when he made mention of Allenspach's continued struggles to get 100 percent healthy after back surgery in the off-season.

It seems Allenspach was scratched from the lineup Tuesday, a few hours before game time, because of recurring complications from the surgery. Only through extensive work with the training staff that afternoon was he able to perform at all. And perform he did, turning in his best game of the season to this point, scoring 12 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

Discovering Allenspach is still suffering ill-effects from the surgery was enough for me. True, he's not the most graceful center in the world when at full strength, but maybe - just maybe - his excessive lack of mobility so far this season has been a bit much, even for him.

Anyway, the column was shelved, never to be seen by anyone other than the author.

For once, I was glad to have a piece missing from the sports page.

***

Things I'm hearing here and there...

- Many names have been thrown around as possible new staff members under freshly-named West Virginia University coach Rich Rodriguez.

Several current members of Tommy Bowden's staff, including offensive line coach Ron West, have been rumored to be joining Clemson's ex-offensive coordinator in Morgantown.

But the name no one is mentioning may end up being the best bet of all.

Miles Aldridge.

Don't be surprised if the former Clemson and South Carolina assistant, and current defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State, joins Rodriguez in some capacity following the bowl season. Probably as Rodriguez's defensive coordinator.

My source wouldn't confirm or deny this, at least right this moment, but said to stay tuned.


Dan Scott is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.

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