17 days after a violent altercation between Clemson receiver Joe Craig and a female track athlete Tigers coach Dabo Swinney has announced Craig is suspended from the football team and will not be allowed to participate in voluntary workouts this summer.
“Joe Craig has been suspended from the football team for the summer workout period,” Swinney said. “Because this is a serious on-campus student issue, there is a process that he will have to go through from a university standpoint. I respect the process and will fully support whatever the university decides to do. We will react from a football standpoint after that process has run its course, but I cannot comment any further at this time on the details of this specific issue.”
Craig has been suspended from the track team since May 24th as a result of a violent and bloody altercation with teammate Marlena Wesh on May 22nd. According to the police report Wesh slashed Craig in the arm with what police described as a “lethal cutting weapon” and Craig hit Wesh repeatedly with bathroom shower rod leaving her with a bloody head.
News of this incident came out late last week and at that time Clemson officials said Swinney had not changed Craig’s status on the team. On Friday a Clemson official indicated Swinney planned to wait until the student judiciary hearing this week to make any ruling. That hearing is supposed to take place sometime this week. Today’s announcement of a suspension is a change of course from that stance because, as best we know, the student advisory board has not ruled on the case between Craig and Wesh.
Another big question that continues to linger is why neither Craig nor Wesh were charged with a crime. Despite the violent nature of the incident neither were arrested, booked or ticketed. Police allowed track coached to take them to the hospital. According to Clemson police Captain Eric Hendricks the two refused EMT transport and some other teammates called the coaches to help. He said the police did not call the coaches and that no special treatment was given because they were athletes. He said neither wanted to press charges and they wanted to “respect the wishes of the victims.”
Stay tuned, we will have more on this story shortly.