CLEMSON — On a day when 13 additional charges were levied against three
Clemson University football players, head coach Tommy Bowden announced two of
them were immediately dismissed from the team.
Paul White and Tyrone Dickerson were removed from the team Wednesday, while
the third player, Marcus Lewis, remains on indefinite suspension pending
"Marcus Lewis is a first-time offender," Bowden said following Wednesday's
spring practice. "I want to see how extensively he was involved after talking
to the police, and then make a decision on him. So he's suspended
White, Dickerson and Lewis — all sophomore defensive linemen — were arrested
Tuesday and each charged with five felony counts of burglary and two
misdemeanors; interference with a fire alarm and simple larceny.
Bowden said White and Dickerson each were two-time offenders, which he said
warranted their immediate dismissal. When pressed as to previous offenses by
the players, he refused to elaborate.
"It's the second offense for me," he said, tapping himself lightly on the
White had previously been indicted on federal counterfeiting charges. He
plead guilty to conspiracy to commit counterfeit on Feb. 28, and was awaiting
sentencing when Tuesday's arrests occurred.
On Wednesday, 13 more charges were levied against each of the players. The
three were hit with one additional burglary count and 12 counts of financial
transaction card theft. The additional charges are felonies, as well.
The three were arraigned before a university judge on the misdemeanors
Wednesday and released on personal recognizance bond. However, they will
remain in the Clemson City Jail until 9 p.m. Monday, at which time they will
be arraigned on the felony counts before a Pickens County Judge.
Meanwhile, the mood at Wednesday's practice — Clemson's final spring workout
before Saturday's annual Orange-White game at Death Valley — was one of both
confusion and determination.
"It's a shock, especially because I'm on defense and I'm close to these
guys," said linebacker Chad Carson. "We really didn't see that coming and
didn't expect that would happen."
"We're not going to use this as an excuse," Bowden said. "It will make us
thinner on the defensive line, but we'll look at it as a challenge and go on.
You look around at some of the top programs and top coaches who have a lot of
integrity — Joe Paterno (Penn State), Tom Osborne (former Nebraska coach) and
my father (Florida State coach Bobby Bowden) — it's happened to all of them.
"It was just a matter of time before it happened here. Now we have to hope
it's another matter of time before it happens again."
Clemson, SC -- Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden announced two team
dismissals and one suspension after practice Wednesday.
"Paul White and Tyronne Dickerson have been dismissed from
the team and Marcus Lewis has been suspended indefinitely," said
Bowden. "Marcus Lewis is a first-time offender and I want to see
how extensively he was involved after the police review the case
before making a final decision.
"I am certainly disappointed. We review these things with
the players after every practice, after every game. It is a loss to
our team, but we must put it behind us and go on."
The players were arrested on Tuesday stemming from several
incidents on campus between July 30 and November 30, 2000. Each
was charged with five counts of first degree burglary, one count of
interference with a fire alarm, and one count of simple larceny.
White played five games and 58 snaps last year. He was
credited with eight tackles for the season. He was listed as a
second-team defensive tackle heading into spring practice. Lewis
played in 11 games as a reserve tackle last year. He was credited
with 10 tackles for his 155 snaps of action for the season. He was
listed as a second-team defensive end heading into the spring.
Dickerson, a walk-on, played in one game last year and made one
tackle. He was not listed on the two-deep entering spring practice.
Dan Scott is the host of SportsTalk (10AM-Noon) on 104.9 FM in Upstate SC and
Managing Editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger