One of the more controversial (wankingmotion) storylines of this offseason has hopefully taken its final twist.
Late last week, an image surfaced on social media showing Clemson’s Tee Higgins posing in front of a $200,000 McLaren Spider, with the missive from the auto dealership thanking the wide receiver “for coming to True Auto Mart… to purchase a vehicle.” Mindful of potential NCAA consequences, the tweet was swiftly deleted as both the player and the mother very publicly denied Higgins bought any type of vehicle at the dealership, let alone a six-figure sports car. It was further clarified that Higgins did take a test drive in the McLaren.
As Higgins had no knowledge that his image would be used for promotional purposes by the dealership, no NCAA no-no’s are expected to arise from the social media flap.
On Wednesday, Higgins’ head coach used the situation to decry the “fish bait” environment in which we currently reside, and which he claimed helped escalate a situation that never should’ve arisen in the first place.
“That’s the world we live in. It is what it is. I think everything’s an opportunity to learn. He’s one of the best kids that you’ll ever have and be around and it just kind of comes with the territory,” Dabo Swinney said by way of the Charleston Post & Courier. “You learn from it, but obviously there’s a lot of what do you call it — fish bait? Or click bait? Isn’t that what they call it, click bait? Trying to get some story.
“That’s just the world that we live in. So you’ve got to be smart and hope that you can just avoid those types of situations that create false perceptions. But as long as you do what’s right, you ain’t gotta worry about it.”
In response to the initial flap, a school spokesperson stated earlier this week that “we sent a cease-and-desist (order to the dealership) and it was removed and we move on.” “We’ve been in contact with the [ACC] and it won’t impact Tee’s eligibility,” the Clemson official added.