Cleaning Out Ye Olde Notebook


by - Correspondent -
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A few items that have been hanging around and/or just came to light:

- The dates for spring football practice and the annual Orange-White game have been released.

Clemson will begin spring workouts on March 8 and will workout four times before spring break begins. Tommy Bowden's team will take the week off, then return for 11 practices after the break beginning on March 24.

The Orange-White game is 1 p.m. on April 12 at Death Valley.

Firm dates for all practices will be announced at a later time.

***

Four former Clemson football players will give the professional game another try this spring.

Woody Dantzler, William Henry, Kevin Youngblood and Nathan Bennett all were either drafted by or on the protected list of a franchise in the fledgling All-American Football League. The new league begins play on college campuses this April.

The league, which will pay players between $50,000-$100,000 for a 10-week regular season, will open with six franchises

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan and Texas.

The rosters will consist of 50 players each. At the end of the regular season four teams will make the playoffs. The semifinals will be held in Week 11, with the championship game the following week.

In order to be eligible for the new league, prospective players must either have their college degree or currently be enrolled in classes working toward the degree.

Dantzler and Henry will be part of the Tennessee franchise, while Youngblood will be with Michigan and Bennett with Alabama.

Henry is scheduled to be a guest on my sports talk show, Cruise Control, at 10:25 p.m. Tuesday. You can listen in the Upstate on 104.9 FM, or on the Internet at www.wccpfm.com. We are working on scheduling the other three players, as well.

For more info on the league, check out its website at www.allamericanfootballleague.com

***

And a clarification:

In my last commentary I mentioned, at the end, that athletic director Terry Don Phillips walked into a department a few years back that was a financial mess.

It was, but not from a budget standpoint. The department was, I'm told, $20 million in the black for his first operating budget.

However the mess came about because of the task he faced raising $50 million for the West Endzone Project. That, along with the fact that the school was no longer allowed to borrow money from the state for such projects, had Phillips in a significant bind.

Step by step, piece by piece, he's worked his way through it all.

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