Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret said Friday the announcement of the dismissal of receiver Joe Craig from the football team was not intentionally delayed until after the conclusion of Signing Day. According to a Clemson University police report Craig was involved in an altercation with two females early Sunday morning. One of the females is the mother of his four month old baby. She, along with Craig, were arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal domestic violence. That charge is a misdemeanor.
Clemson announced Craig’s dismissal from the team via a release shortly after 8:00 Wednesday night. In the release Swinney stated, “Joe Craig has been permanently dismissed from the Clemson football team for a violation of team rules. We wish him the best as he continues his academic and athletic career.”
On Thursday afternoon it was reported Craig had been charged with criminal domestic violence. The timing of the story led to some speculation that Clemson sat on the story until after Signing Day. Bourret said he does not know when head coach Dabo Swinney first learned of the latest incident, but he knows Swinney was not informed of the facts of the case until Tuesday.
Bourret said Swinney was in Georgia part of Tuesday, and after learning of the details of the incident from Dr. Loreto Jackson, he then made the decision to dismiss Craig. Bourret said the release was not put out until Wednesday night because he was tied up with Signing Day duties during the day on Wednesday.
Further complicating this case is the fact that Craig was involved in an altercation with a female track teammate in May of last year. That incident started with an argument at a pool party and ended with Craig reportedly hitting the female over the head with a towel rod after she cut his arm with a razor blade. Clemson University Police were called to the scene and filed a report, but no arrest was made. Craig and the female were transported to the hospital by track coaches and called the incident minor. Several legal experts said at the time it was out of the ordinary that no assualt charges were filed, but the Clemson police captain said they followed protocol.
In June Swinney suspended Craig from summer workouts and announced in July at his preseason Golf tournament that Craig would be also suspended the first three games of the season.
“Joe’s a good kid,” Swinney said at the time. “This is an unfortunate situation. You know there’s consequences for your actions. He’s a guy that, you know, I believe in and hopefully at some point he will come back and help us win the ACC this year.”
Craig finished last season with three receptions for 18 yards in seven games this past season. He also lettered on the Clemson outdoor track team during the spring of 2011.