Credit: © Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: © Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson and Transparency Should Meet

Offsides with Marc Ryan
June 27, 2019 - 1:17 pm
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Clemson football has been anything but forthcoming with regards to sharing what its own investigation revealed into how three players tested positive for the banned substance Ostarine, and the lack of transparency is incredibly disappointing. Gene Sapakoff of the Post and Courier thoroughly details the lack of forthcoming cooperation in a report for The Post and Courier.

 

Being new here to South Carolina, the dynamics to the Palmetto Rivalry are fascinating to me. Having arrived in mid January after all the football games had been played, I've found the passion here to be on another level, even in the offseason. I LOVE it. It gives me the sense that it doesn't matter if it's October or June. If you have a compelling topic on Clemson, South Carolina, or both, the fan bases engage our show in unison and that is fantastic.

 

The type of fans I've always respected the most are those who can take off the colored glasses of their school and be objective about what's in front you. I've located this desired objectivity in both fan bases here on rare occasions, but sadly, it's a bit too hard to find. As a UF alum, I can tell you the arrests under Urban Meyer were embarrassing, the loss of Will Grier set the program back five years, and my school recently completely botched a situation on campus which resulted in the loss of one of the best incoming freshmen cornerbacks in the country (Chris Steele). See this objectivity? You should be able to do the same.

 

It's also fascinating to me how both sides here in the Upstate attempt to paint you as being for one side or the other. If you praise Clemson for something, “Well then Marc Ryan, you must be a Clemson guy.” If you criticize South Carolina, it must be because you're a Clemson fan. The same is exactly true for South Carolina. Allow me to make myself perfectly clear. I'm a Florida Gator. I'm a fan of the Florida Gators. No one else. As I am removed from the intoxication of fandom for the two schools of immense popularity in our area, well, I can see clearly now the rain is gone. Can you? Try harder, because you’re not there yet.

 

If you look objectively at Clemson's refusal to reveal much of anything in regard to their own investigation as to how three players tested positive for Ostarine, you'll find their reasoning doesn't make a ton of sense. Clemson sites a privacy law put in place to protect students as the reason for not divulging any information, but the law doesn't prevent them from disclosing general findings such as, but not limited to; did they discover the source of Ostarine contamination? What was it? Did they test every player on the team for this, as they should have for player safety? Yes or no? What were the results of those tests? Clemson said in January they had no plans to test the entire football team. This is unconscionable to me. If your son had a potentially harmful product in his system theoretically given to him unknowingly by the school he attends, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you DEMAND to know?

 

To have this information but not provide this information is unfortunate, and this will result in many wondering what exists behind the curtain. It didn’t have to be that way. No matter the results, no matter what Clemson knows, it's far better to reveal what you know than hide behind a privacy law that doesn't prohibit them from releasing general findings.

A follower of mine on social media said to me recently "There's no rule that says Clemson has to share anything." This is true. There's also no rule that you need to tell your wife or husband if another person is sending nudes to your Facebook Messenger. But you know what it looks like if you don't? Shady. Shady as hell.

Clemson has chosen the wrong path here, the path of secrecy, suspicion, and skepticism when they would have resolved all of the above by simply coming out once and saying “Here’s what we know. Here’s what we can share with you.”

Instead, we received a message citing a privacy act that doesn’t apply to releasing general findings and a trail of campus emails so redacted you’d have thought the secret service was involved.

A national championship university should show itself better; should demand more transparency of itself. Everyone affiliated with the university deserves that. Deserves more.

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