If Clemson doesn't make it to its sixth straight bowl this season, it won't be because of NCAA sanctions.
Weeks of waiting and wondering and worrying are over for the Tigers and their faithful.The NCAA has spoken: one year's probation. But no television and bowl sanctions.
"I'm glad we're going to have our bowl game because I think we have a good shot at the national championship," strong safety Arlington Nunn said. "With just probation . . . they're going to be watching us. But they watch us anyway."
It was the Tigers who were doing the watching Thursday as they sat in front of the television viewing the news conference where the NCAA verdict was announced.
"Me and Arlington were playing Nintendo and switched it over to watch," junior linebacker Levon Kirkland said. "When we heard `probation' we looked at each other and didn't say much.
"Then, when we heard `No TV sanctions,' we jumped up and started high-fiving. I'll tell you, we really jumped up there, too."
Kirkland said the announcement ended months of anxiety for the Atlantic Coast Conference team.
"Beginning in January, it's been really rough waiting to see what would happen," he said. "It's great to finally get this thing behind us. It takes a load off our shoulders."
Junior offensive tackle Bruce Bratton agreed.
"I was very relieved," Bratton said. "We were kinda scared the last couple of months because of all the news that we saw, all the things that have been flying around. There has been a lot of speculation since last summer."
As a senior, Nunn was especially anxious to learn whether the Tigers' fate included no time on the tube.
"I was worried about TV. I'm from Florida and my parents can't get up here often," Nunn said. "And there are a lot of scouts out there who might not get to see some of us without television."
With the announcement, senior offensive guard Eric Harmon said the Tigers can now focus on the upcoming season.