As it turns out, there will be some rather significant repercussions for one member of the Clemson football program who allegedly dabbled in the nose candy.
Thursday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed that Ammon Lakip will be suspended for at least the first three games of the 2015 season. Upon his return, there’s no guarantee that Lakip will resume his role as the Tigers’ main kicker, which has since gone to redshirt freshman Greg Huegel.
Lakip, suspended indefinitely since an arrest two months ago, has returned to school and, while he has rejoined the team, has yet to participate in practice. In late June, reports surfaced that Lakip had been charged with possession of cocaine and driving under the influence following an incident earlier that month. A short time later, Swinney revealed the kicker will “miss some time.”
Police said Lakip’s vehicle was seen leaving an area with several bars and he did not use a turn signal. During a traffic stop, officers said Lakip had a distinct odor of alcohol about his person and he failed several field sobriety tests.
A small amount of cocaine was discovered in a lip balm container in Lakip’s vehicle, police said.
For his career, Lakip is 22-30 (73.3 percent) on field goal attempts and 51-52 on point after tries for 117 points in 20 games (13 starts). In 2014, Lakip was 21-28 (75.0 percent) on field goals and 43-44 on extra points for a team-high 106 points.
In November, he was named as one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award. Following his redshirt junior season, he was named honorable mention All-ACC by both the coaches and media.
Clemson’s chances to knock off Florida State in Tallahassee Saturday night could come down to any number of miscues or missed opportunities for the Tigers. One of those such instances occurred when center Ryan Norton sailed a snap over the head of Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, resulting in a loss of 23 yards after being just half a yard from the end zone. Because of that play, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says Norton has received threats over social media
“Coach [Chad Morris] told me [about the threats] last night,” Swinney told reporters, according to an ESPN report. “That’s disappointing. I think he deleted his account. It’s a shame that young people have to deal with that kind of stuff. Nobody wants to make a bad snap.”
As is typically the case for any athlete on Twitter or Facebook, they will quickly become the target of misguided fans venting their frustrations over a bad play or game. Sadly, this happens all too often with college players. In Norton’s case, Clemson ended up missing out on some likely points in regulation, which may have been needed to avoid losing in overtime to the top-ranked team in the country. Kicker Ammon Lakip missed a 40-yard field goal on the imploded drive. Clemson had a number of other opportunities to pick up a win on the road though, so singling out Norton’s bad snap is not fair at all.
“I think most of it was people mad and venting, but it was threatening to Ryan is what I was told,” Swinney said. “Those aren’t fans — those are people with issues.”
There is a fine line between allowing college football to be a part of your life and running your life. If you fall on the side where you feel better about yourself sending threats and derogatory remarks to a college student following a bad game, perhaps you should spend some time re-evaluating your priorities in general.