One of the best parts about the Internet is the vast amount of information available at one’s finger tips. The worst part about the Internet is the vast amount of information available. And some of the people disseminating it.
Case in point: a couple of hours prior to Clemson’s beatdown at the hands of Florida State, a “report” surfaced on a “website” — we’re not going to give the name here and funnel any traffic there; Google it — that Tajh Boyd had piled up an $80,000-plus gambling debt betting mostly on NFL games. The fact that Boyd went out and had arguably his worst game as a starter on his biggest stage thus far only added to the squadron of black helicopters swirling overhead.
Because of the “report” — which the curator of the site told The State via email “comes from direct sources in Vegas that have ties to the bookies” — athletic director Dan Radakovich instructed his compliance department to investigate the “claims” and perform its due diligence. According to the paper, university compliance officials interviewed Boyd as well as checking out the track record of the “site” before sending its findings to the ACC.
Those findings had everyone, at least at the university, in agreement: the “report” was baseless and Boyd is not a latter-day Art Schlichter.
“I don’t really know where that came from,” Boyd told the media Tuesday. “When I heard it, it was pretty shocking. That being built on top of the loss made it a rough little weekend.”
“I have Northland Cable. I only get two games on Sunday,” Boyd said, taking a jab at the rumors a gambling debt was centered on NFL games.
Boyd’s 78.2 passer rating was his second-worst since becoming a full-time starter in 2011, trailing only the 66.5 he put up against South Carolina that first season. His 45.9 percent completion percentage was his worst since that 21-point loss to the Gamecocks, and the first time since the 2012 regular-season finale against the same team that he had completed less than 60 percent of his passes.
That performance only added fuel to the speculative fire… and served to raise the ire of Boyd’s head coach.
“That just added to my beautiful Sunday. … It’s disappointing that we live in this world where things like that happen,” Dabo Swinney said. “I have no reason to think that he lied to me. He’s never lied to me before. Obviously, it would be a major problem if you have somebody lying to you about something like that. You’d have to move on in a different direction. It’s that simple.
“I have no reason not to trust him, absolutely. No question, his integrity is impeccable.”
One final note: Boyd’s parents are contemplating a lawsuit, telling ClemsonInsider.com that “[t]hese reports are totally false. Please leave my son alone.”