Clemson quarterback shocked by gambling rumors

CLEMSON — We gather every week to talk to the quarterback, and he always obliges.

Essentially, it's an assemblage of non-athletic media types intent on extracting detail upon detail out of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.

These informal meetings have grown to become known as "Tuesdays with Tajh," which might also be a good name for a book or a movie.

We arrive with questions fully loaded, then leave after having been effectively disarmed by Boyd.

"I like you guys, I really do," Tajh has said.

That sentiment must be true, because it would explain why he has felt obligated to answer questions ranging from which actor he'd like to portray him in a movie to his musical preferences to why he plays better in domed stadiums.

Questions of a more serious ilk were lobbed his direction Tuesday, spawned by an Internet report that surfaced over the weekend citing sources that claim Boyd has accumulated more than $80,000 in gambling debt.

"I have no idea where that came from," Boyd said. "It was kind of shocking to me as well. That on top of the loss (to Florida State) made for a rough little weekend."

The report claimed that the bulk of Boyd's debt was incurred through betting on NFL games, which brought laughter from Boyd as he cited the fact that his cable provider allows him access to only two games each Sunday.

"I rarely watch NFL games," Boyd said.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney heard the report, too, and asked Boyd about it Sunday morning.

"He just shook his head and said, 'No way, coach,'" Swinney said. "I have no reason not to believe Tajh Boyd. He's never lied to me before. His character and integrity from my view are impeccable, so I'm going to take his word over some website that I've never heard of, ever."

The university is investigating the report, but Boyd has a more urgent task at hand – namely, regrouping a team for which he's the unquestioned leader and personally redeeming himself after what many would consider the worst performance of his career.

"It was disappointing because I know what type of team we have," Boyd said. "It was frustrating to go out there and not put our best foot forward. I don't think I responded like I needed to as a leader."

There's no blame game when it comes to Boyd. He assumes accountability, which is a good thing for a player in his position to do, but he does so with aplomb, which makes it difficult not to regard him in high esteem, even as an unbiased journalist.

Bad games, good games, fair to middling games, Boyd always shows up, smiling.

He's cordial and candid, thoughtful and insightful.

Boyd has regaled us with anecdotes, jokes, quips and song, even in times when it would've been much easier to cut the interviews short and move on to something considerably more pleasurable.

Heck, if anything, Tajh talks too much.

In fact, he recently began telling us how excited he was about the commitments Clemson had from several high school stars, even though his playing days as a Tiger would be over before they arrived on campus. Boyd began to rattle off their names before being interrupted midstream and politely informed that such chatter is off limits until players have actually signed their letters-of-intent.

"Well, there are some great players who could potentially end up playing here," Boyd said, obeying the letter of the law.

Boyd is on the cusp of becoming the winningest quarterback in Clemson history. But he's also turned out to be much more.

Boyd is so engaging, so gregarious, so personable that reporters from other media markets take notice.

"Gee whiz, you don't know how lucky you are to have a guy like Tajh to interview every week," more than one member of an opponent's media throng has told me this season.

After giving it some thought, they're right.

Perhaps I've taken him for granted because interviewing him has always been so easy.

There are only five more "Tuesdays with Tajh," which is a shame.

I'm going to miss him.

Scott Keepfer also writes for The Greenville News.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment