EDITOR’S NOTE: Information and details for the following story were taken
from an NCAA internal memo and Clemson University inter-departmental
correspondence, obtained by the Daily Journal/Messenger via the Freedom of
Information Act. The sequence of events which follow is the NCAA’s report on
Clemson’s self-reported violations and sanctions. Clemson has refused to
comment on specific details of the investigation.
CLEMSON — After months of speculation, the sequence of events which led to
Clemson’s compliance office placing internal sanctions on the football
program have been revealed in an official NCAA report obtained by the Daily
In a confidential memorandum from earlier this week (May 29), NCAA
Enforcement Representative Jim Elworth outlined the investigation into both
the recruiting of Gaffney High School stars Jeff Littlejohn and Roger
McIntosh, as well as violations which occurred during the big recruiting
weekend Jan. 12-14 at Clemson.
Elworth’s report was sent to Chris Strobel, who investigates secondary
violations for the NCAA, and Richard Dunn, a member of the NCAA infractions
The first red flag on possible improprieties in the recruiting of Littlejohn
and McIntosh came last spring.
In a memo dated April 26, 2000, Clemson University Director of Football
Operations Andy Johnston informed Compliance Services Director Becky Bowman
that Littlejohn and McIntosh had been provided a limousine by booster Lamar
Greene for use at their junior prom.
“It is our understanding that the limousine was in exchange for work
performed by the young men,” Johnston wrote.
At the time, nobody realized a controversy was brewing which would be in
headlines a year later.
Expensive Prom Date
According the Elworth, in Sept. 2000 the NCAA enforcement staff received
“anonymous information” that Greene had committed recruiting violations
during his employment of Littlejohn and McIntosh at his landscaping company.
That was the same month the players verbally committed to play college
football at Clemson University.
The allegations stemmed from actions which Clemson and the NCAA say took
place in April and July, 2000.
Greene apparently hired Littlejohn and McIntosh to do landscaping work in
early-to-mid April, 2000. Prior to Gaffney’s Junior-Senior Prom on April 22
last year, either McIntosh or his uncle, James Lattimore asked Greene for
$1,300 so the two players could take a limousine to the prom.
Details of how Greene supplied the money, or under what terms, are in
conflict the report states. However, everyone involved agreed Greene provided
the money up front and made the arrangements for the limo.
The families of Littlejohn and McIntosh repaid the money a week later.
A Day at the Lake
On July 28, 2000, Littlejohn and McIntosh were working for Greene at the
River Point Condominiums in Clemson, where Greene has a residence.
He also had a boat docked on Lake Hartwell at the time, immediately adjacent
to the condos. According to Elworth’s report, Green allowed Littlejohn and
McIntosh to take a ride on the boat during their lunch hour.
“The use of the boat by the young men was recreational and not in the scope
of the work the young men were hired to perform,” Elworth’s report said.
Expensive Quiet Dinner
Later that same day, the report said, Greene called Clemson assistant
football coach Burton Burns, told him the players were working at his
residence, and invited Burns to the condo.
Burns drove to the residence and had a conversation with Greene, at which
point Burns mentioned he and a family member were going to lunch at the
Clemson Western Sizzlin. Burns then left the condo. Greene and the players
also drove separately to the restaurant.
According to the report, Burns was joined in line at the restaurant by
Greene, McIntosh and Littlejohn, and one of Greene’s business partners.
Everyone involved sat together during the meal, during which, the report
said, Burns had conversations with both players.
Greene reportedly paid for all the lunches.
“The contacts between Burns and the prospects were facilitated by Greene’s
decision to invite the coach to his home while the prospects were there and
his decision to take the prospects to the same restaurant where he knew the
coach was at,” Elworth wrote. “Both of these actions by Greene appear to be
an attempt to have the prospects interact with Burns. Accordingly, it is the
enforcement staff’s view that Greene’s actions to facilitate contacts between
the coach and young men was done it part for recruiting purposes and,
therefore, renders his contacts with the young men at the home and at lunch
Holy Violation, Batman
On Jan. 13 of this year, during the official paid visit weekend at Clemson,
the university reported that fans of the school had improper in-person
contact with Atlanta recruit Ahmad Carroll, who’s nickname is “Batman.”
As part of the visit, Carroll and the other recruits were taken by bus to the
top of the hill at Howard’s Rock. As the recruits left the bus, fans gathered
around the recruits and started cheering as the players walked the short
distance to the football stadium. Carroll reportedly broke from the line to
greet several fans dressed in Batman costumes.
Some of the fans had gathered for a Clemson basketball game that afternoon,
while others had traveled to campus specifically to greet the recruits.
Carroll chose not to attend Clemson University.
Hold the dessert, please
That evening, the reports states, an impermissible snack/dessert was made
available to the recruits and their families who traveled to campus for the
The recruits and their families were treated to a banquet that night, which
included a meal and a dessert. However, in addition to the banquet, a
reception was held in which drinks and desserts were made available to the
families of the recruits.
Prior to the evening, Clemson’s compliance office had notified Director of
Football Operations Andy Johnston that no desserts or snacks were to be
served at the post-banquet reception. However, Johnston forgot to cancel the
desserts, which had been ordered prior to his conversation with the
The first inter-departmental memo concerning the violations is dated Jan. 23
of this year.
In the memo, Clemson President James Barker informed Board of Trustees member
Lawrence Gressett of the progress of the school’s investigation and actions
taken, which included the decision to stop recruiting Littlejohn and McIntosh.
It is also this memo in which the first indication of steps taken against
Greene were discussed.
“We also advised the NCAA that we will either dissociate the booster from
Clemson University or place serious restrictions on him for some length of
time,” Barker wrote. “The restrictions imposed on the booster and the length
of these restrictions will depend upon what additional information can be
substantiated. This action will be taken as soon as we believe the University
has all the information we are going to be able to obtain about the issues
that have been raised. That, of course, will happen at a future point in
Clemson gets lucky
In his May 29 memo, Elworth states the reasons the Enforcement Staff believes
the violations are secondary.
The violations surrounding Greene were isolated to Littlejohn and McIntosh,
he wrote. The loan for the limousine was repaid, and the contacts on July 28
with Burns yielded limited, if any, recruiting advantage. Clemson officials
made Burns inform both Littlejohn and McIntosh that their scholarship offers
had been rescinded.
As for the violations on the recruiting weekend, Elworth wrote that no member
of Clemson’s coaching or institutional staff had “any knowledge or part in
organizing the gathering of fans who cheered on the prospects and interacted
with Carroll.” In fact, Elworth said, Johnston had noticed fans inside the
stadium earlier in the day and had “run them out.” The university took action
to create a “buffer” between fans and recruits on subsequent visits, and
Carroll, as mentioned, chose another school over Clemson.
The dessert snafu proved to be minor, as well. Only two parents of prospects
actually ate desserts, and the remainder of the desserts were served on a
breakfast buffet the following morning.
The two players whose parents ate the desserts will have their eligibility
resolved when they report for fall practice. The situation will be considered
closed once a repayment is made for the dessert, which will be less than $5.
Pat on the back
The NCAA Enforcement Staff commended Clemson for its cooperation and
assistance during the investigation of the reported violations, and said the
self-imposed penalties “are appropriate for the violations that have
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