A parent's point of view - part 2

by - Senior Writer -

Major Michael Mac Lain wants to be there for his son, Clemson redshirt freshman tight end Eric Mac Lain. He wants to see every play and be there for all of life’s big moments, but as an active duty Air Force officer, he knows that isn’t possible.

In a Parent’s Point of View, we looked at how parent of a Clemson recruit viewed a potential move to the Big 12, and how such a move might have a negative impact on recruiting. In this second part, the parent of a current player gives his opinion on what impact that kind of move would have on him and his family.

Mac Lain sent me an email Monday morning, and he made the point that once your son becomes a Division I football player, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas and even New Year’s Day holidays spent together as a family are usually out of the equation.

“I understand exactly where the parent of the recruit is coming from,” Major Mac Lain told TigerNet Monday evening. “There is a lot of personal sacrifice that goes into this, but it all depends on what you as a parent are willing to sacrifice so your children can have the best.”

Major Mac Lain said he has recently moved from the family’s home in North Carolina to a posting near Biloxi, taking him further away, but it could have been worse: he almost wound up in Korea. However, even if he had, he said he still feels like he would have been able to watch Eric play.

“That is where you build a rapport with the coaching staff and you rely on the internet and your cell phone,” he said. “The coaching staff heard about it, and both coach [Dan] Brooks and coach [Dabo] Swinney told me, ‘We will get you video. We will get you game film. Even if he doesn’t play, we will get you taken care of.’ I knew that even though I couldn’t be there in person, I could still feel a part.

“That is the thing about Clemson that is such a great thing. They really do care about the family. Today, I received three text messages from the coaches, and that is the stuff that makes a difference. They promised to take care of my son, make him a good citizen and look after him for me. So far, they are keeping their promise. That is what men of honor and distinction do.”

Mac Lain said that he hasn’t really had a chance to talk to Eric about all of the realignment rumors, but in his opinion such a move would increase Clemson’s exposure.

“You look at some of the storied schools they have with the football history, and that is awesome,” he said. “It would be a great opportunity because everything is about exposure. Now everybody wants to see how West Virginia does when they play the big boys every week. Every kid wants to go to a school where they can do cool things. They won't look at a school that doesn’t compete for a conference championship ring. I have two of them from when I played Division II football. “

He said the allure of the Big 12 means the allure of the big stage.

“A lot was made of the recent contract between the SEC and the Big 12,” he said. “That just gives you one more thing to strive for every season. One loss might knock you out of the National Championship talk, but you can still play in a major bowl game. I don’t see why in the world why someone wouldn’t want their child to compete at highest level. Make no mistake; this is hard, harder than anything else. But at the end of the day, I want to make sure he is happy. We don’t want him to look back in life and say we missed that opportunity or this opportunity to do something special.”

Mac Lain, whose son Sean is also currently going through the recruiting process, says that the location of Clemson played a bigger role in Eric’s commitment than how many away games the family could attend.

“Our choice of school was predicated on the closeness of to where we were, it wasn’t based on who they play on the road,” he said. “They still play home football games where we can watch him play. We wanted him to be able to come home for spring break without buying a plane ticket, or we could shoot down for a long weekend with him. They play 12 games, and we know certain games are going to be away. Whether Clemson is in the ACC, the SEC or the Big 12, none of that would have changed our decision to come to Clemson.”

For that, he said he has a solution.

“Of course, you want to be there in the hype and activities, but you can't really see your child on a road trip, maybe just a hug and a hello and that’s it,” he said. “But I know that if I can't make it, they are still going to be on television. I can't remember the last time I saw a MAC game on television, but you know that the Big 12 is going to be on prime time television. You put them into a conference like that, and they are going to get TV time. I can sit here and replay my son making that catch 10,000 times.”

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Subject (Replies: 26) Author
Front Page Story: A parent's point of view - part 2
Re: Front Page Story: A parent's point of view - part 2
A voice of reason. Thanks to the Major.******
Well done Crump
What did Crump have to do with this?***
"David Hood" is Crump's scok.***
a voice of reason after the 1st article threw gas on a fire***
Thank you Major MacLain first for
Not just a voice of reason...
what a great point***
Thank you Major!! Thank you for serving our country and
Re: Front Page Story: A parent's point of view - part 2
Thank you Sir......
WS Tiger®
Honor and distinction
Re: Men of honor and distinction
This isnt high school football, you cant just drive around
Re: This isnt high school football, you cant just drive around
Let's be totally honest here, not many fans go to away games
Re: Let's be totally honest here, not many fans go to away games
you should know as many as you beat***
Re: This isnt high school football, you cant just drive around
tiger kid
I figured they would make it a balanced discussion***
^^^misspelled blindsided***
You set us up for this!
That GIANT, IN YOUR FACE Big 12 logo is very misleading
Great Post, Major .. Let's Hope
Re: Front Page Story: A parent's point of view - part 2

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