CLEMSON, SC -- Clemson finished its second full-squad practice Friday afternoon
minus two players from the morning session.
Redshirt sophomore tight end Pat Cyrgalis was dismissed from the team by
coach Tommy Bowden following the early workout, and sophomore linebacker
Travis Roberts missed the afternoon practice for personal reasons.
Cyrgalis, who had been suspended during spring practice for violating team
rules concerning academics, was expected to be the starting tight end for
the Tigers this season.
His initial suspension was to have included the Sept. 2 season opener with
"It was all academic associated," Bowden said. "It's class attendance, study
hall, things like that.
Cyrgalis was not available for comment Friday afternoon.
Sophomore Jason LeMay now moves to the top of the depth chart at tight end.
Bowden has suspended several players in his 18 months at Clemson's helm,
most noticeably last year's benching of Travis Zachery for the season opener
And while he wouldn't go into detail about Cyrgalis or any of the other
moves made during his short tenure, Bowden did offer a glimpse at his
seemingly simple rules of discipline.
"The biggest rule is don't embarrass the program," Bowden said. "If
something's used in the paper it's embarrassing to the university. And then
academic integrity, and what we're trying establish, are the two main areas.
Travis is really the only one who hasn't been academically oriented. The
rest have been academic casualties.
"You see the results. I don't know how many people do what we do...actually
get rid of a guy for (missing) class. Because in a few days he's (Cyrgalis)
probably going to be eligible. So it's not like he's not eligible or
something. But that's not the message we want to send, academically."
Bowden said he weighs input from his nine-member coaching staff when such
moves are made, although he ultimately makes the final decision. And he
talks on a regular basis with his father, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden,
about such matters.
He also tries to use the example set by other veteran coaches.
"We (father and son) talked today. You run it by him, but the decision had
been made before I called him. You watch guys like (Penn State coach Joe)
Paterno. The guys getting a little bit older and (with) more wisdom, they
make decisions based on what's right and wrong. They don't sway with the
media perspective or public perspective. You've got to be pretty confident
in your ability to make wise decisions.
"Those guys, at that age, they've made a bunch of wise decisions, and they
disregard what the press, the media or the public wants."
Meanwhile, Bowden shed little light on Roberts' absence, except to say the
6-foot, 220-pound linebacker was excused from the afternoon practice.
"He was here this morning, but he was not here this afternoon for personal
reasons," Bowden said. "I don't know if he'll be back (today) or not. Once
the personal reasons are solved he may or may not."
In other practice news:
- Veterans Will Merrit, Terry Witherspoon and Justin Watts all were carted
off late in Friday's second workout due to severe cramping. Jovon Bush also
cramped during running, but wasn't assisted off the field.
- Center Kyle Young (Daniel High School) hurt an ankle in the morning
practice and was held out of afternoon workouts. "He could have practiced,"
Bowden said. "But I figured I'd hold him until Monday and see if I can get
him full speed."
- With Cyrgalis gone and freshman recruit Todd McClinton's future still up
in the air, Bowden pulled redshirt freshman defensive end J.J. Howard to
offense and put him at tight end, third on the depth chart behind LeMay and
junior Morgan Woodard.
Dan Scott is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.