The Clemson football team’s just a few weeks away from defending its second national championship in three seasons, with the Tigers set to open up against fellow ACC team Georgia Tech on August 29th. While head coach Dabo Swinney has his team primed to make another run at the College Football Playoff — led by sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence — there seems to be little that can get in their way at a repeat attempt.
One thing that could derail Clemson? Distractions. Whether that’s inside the locker room or elsewhere, one never knows how teenagers will adapt to pressure, adversity or a bunch of different personalities coming together. And one of those random distractions just seemed to happen, because, due to a F’ed up NCAA rules violation, Clemson football had to self-report the improper use of confetti. No, I’m not joking.
According to The State, the football team self-reported 13 minor NCAA violations that occurred during their championship season last year, with one of those being the excessive confetti use, among others.
Oct. 17, 2018: Confetti was utilized by institutional staff during a photo shoot that took place during a prospective student-athlete’s official visit.
Welp, the NCAA strikes again, guys, because this is honestly one of the most absurd things I’ve ever seen. As head and assistant coaches cash in big time — including Clemson’s own Swinney, who recently signed the richest deal for a college football coach in history — the football team isn’t allowed to use tiny pieces of paper during photo shoots as a means to recruit players. What a crock of shit.
So what, in fact, was the NCAA rule that Clemson football violated? Here’s what Yahoo! Sports reported was probably the culprit.
An institution may not arrange miscellaneous, personalized recruiting aids (e.g., personalized jerseys, personalized audio/video scoreboard presentations) and may not permit a prospective student-athlete to engage in any game-day simulations (e.g., running onto the field with the team during pregame introductions) during an official visit. Personalized recruiting aids include any decorative items and special additions to any location outside of athletics facilities the prospective student-athlete will visit (e.g., hotel room, dorm room, student union) regardless of whether the items include the prospective student-athlete’s name or picture. An institution may decorate common areas in athletics facilities (e.g., lobby, coach’s office, suite in arena) for an official visit, provided the decorations are not personalized and the common areas are not accessible or visible to the general public while decorated.
Of course, Clemson football also self-reported a few other minor violations, and here’s a quick look at some of the other ones that the NCAA felt it necessary to know about. Note: They’re all about as absurd as the excessive confetti use.
April 14, 2019: Sport staff provided ground transportation cost that exceeded the institutions mileage rate.
May 30, 2019: A prospective student-athlete and two of his high school coaches obtained special seating during an institutional intrasquad scrimmage.
May 30, 2019: Sport staff provided a meal and per diem for the same meal to student-athletes.
June 20, 2019: Staff posted a picture and live updates of student-athletes engaging in voluntary athletically-related activities on a social media account.
Long live the NCAA, where teenagers aren’t allowed to show up in social media videos and college football teams are punished for using party supplies. After the “Rich Paul Rule” that was just handed down in college hoops, too, it might be time for the organization to take a timeout for a little bit, because they’re the worst.