CLEMSON -- Saturday's 26-24 upset defeat at the hands of Virginia was a tough
one to swallow for Clemson. None more so than for defensive coordinator
Reggie Herring, who's known for his intensity.
The Cavaliers executed a surprise halfback toss on the final drive which set
up the game-winner, a controversial non-call reception from Bryson Spinner
to Billy McMullen, with Brian Mance defending.
Clemson's defense, notorious for giving up big plays at the most inopportune
of times, seemingly blew it once again. After the game, one fan let Herring,
the man in charge, know about it.
Herring snapped back at the fans on a post game radio interview.
PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO |
Tommy Bowden Press Conference
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Reggie Herring apologizes to the fans for his comments and talks about the defense
- Real | Windows Media
"I will be danged if we are going to set attitude and tone around here
like this house is falling apart. We are not going to do it, so I don't expect
Clemson fans to do it. And if you don't like what I said, don't come to the games."
Now he regrets it. Tuesday, he issued an apology for his actions.
"I let a few people distract my judgment," Herring said. "I was wrong, and I
apologize to all the Clemson people and fans. We have tremendous fans with
great spirit. They love their school, and their football means a lot to
them. It was never directed to the Clemson fans as a whole. It was out of
frustration, and I should know better."
The emotions of suffering a close defeat such as Saturday's affected
Herring. He said he let the situation get the best of him, and the result is
"All I did was take something that I thought was negative and make it more
negative, and that was really poor judgment on my part," Herring said. "In
21 years of coaching, I've never said anything derogatory or negative about
a fan. And it won't happen again."
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is one who knows of Herring's intensity
While forced to coach from upstairs because of a torn achilles suffered
while celebrating during a preseason scrimmage, Herring often cussed through
"Communication is not his strength," Bowden said. "He's very intense. He's
the kind of guy that you would want to track down Osama bin Laden."
After his speech and a few questions from the media, Herring changed his
tone, conceding the defense has taken its lumps lately.
"Right now, I'm a beat-up poster boy," he said. "And that's fine. That's
what they pay me to do. I can handle it."
Rob Pierce is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His articles and columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.