Commentary - Bowden Contract Watch Continues


by - Correspondent -
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Would it surprise anyone to know that the finalization of Tommy Bowden's new contract is being held up by lawyers?

That's what two sources inside the Clemson athletic department told me Thursday. Apparently the contract is pretty much complete, however lawyers from both sides are either haggling over minor details or working on language that is acceptable to both parties.

Whatever the holdup, both sides are hoping to have the deal done today, but no one would go on the record and promise as much.

Bowden still has four years remaining on a contract with pays him at least $825,000 annually. Sources close to the situation say his new deal could be eight years or more in length, and pay Bowden approximately $1.5 million per season.

Stay tuned.

***

During his teleconference to announce the signing of three basketball recruits (see story), Clemson basketball coach Larry Shyatt broached a subject which may become more of a story as this season wears on:

Will Solomon leaving for the NBA after this, his junior season.

It will likely take through the end of this season for Shyatt and Solomon to get a feel for exactly how good the guard's chances are of being drafted, should he decide to leave early. But if the NBA types think Solomon can indeed play in the league, then the 6-foot-1 guard need only look to assistant coach Darren Tillis for guidance.

Tillis was a first-round draft pick, 21st overall, by the Boston Celtics in the 1982 draft, following his senior season at Cleveland State (where, ironically enough, he was recruited by a young assistant coach named Larry Shyatt).

Tillis left Cleveland State without a degree, but spent eight seasons playing professional basketball - in the NBA for the Celtics, Cavaliers and Warriors, and overseas in Italy and Spain. By doing so he was able to make far more money than a B.A. degree in history would have allowed him to earn had he stayed in school, and ultimately did finish that degree by completing classes at Paul Quinn College in 1996.

Having experienced both sides of the ledger, Tillis likely will be at least one person Solomon turns to for advice if he's faced with such a decision.

***

When the preseason All-America Team recently was released, many players across the country received votes.

Solomon was not among them.

However, instead of being upset by the apparent snub, Shyatt was his usual philosophical self.

"He's already made his mark by going out and proving what he (can) do, and I'm not sure you really want to prove somebody wrong," Shyatt said. "I think you just want to prove that you, in fact, deserve to be at a certain level. Hopefully that will be the case this season.

"We'll have much improved success, and so will Will."

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