1984

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1984 in Clemson History

Events that occurred in 1984:

  • The Clemson men's soccer team wins their first National Championship.
  • January 18: The Clemson University Concert Series presents The New York Renaissance Band, Sally Logemann, director, in Tillman Hall Auditorium at 8 p.m., a Columbia Artists Management production.
  • February 16-February 18: The All Western Region Band Festival is held on campus. Two bands of approximately 90 students, chosen by audition from the high schools from the counties of the western region of South Carolina, perform, culminating with a concert in Tillman Auditorium on February 18 at 8 p.m.
  • March 7: The Clemson University Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Bruce F. Cook, Director of Bands, performs in Tillman Auditorium at 8 p.m.
  • March 15: The Clemson University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard E. Goodstein, Assistant Director of Bands, performs in Tillman Auditorium at 8 p.m.
  • April 19: The Clemson University Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Bruce F. Cook, Director of Bands, performs in Tillman Auditorium at 8 p.m.
  • April 25: The Clemson University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard E. Goodstein, Assistant Director of Bands, performs in Tillman Auditorium at 8 p.m.
  • August 15: From the January 1985 issue of the Clemson World: It's the number one defense vs. the number one offense...third and goal from the three...and quarterback Mike Eppley calls Stacey Driver's number. The pint-sized tailback (5'8", 180) surveys the defensive line during a scrimmage in Death Valley and remarks, "Oh hell, this is gonna hurt!"
  • August 19: A heavy thunderstorm with high winds hits Clemson. At a Clemson football team meeting, the players are informed about injured freshman wide receiver, Marvin Montgomery, involved in a serious traffic accident. Seniors Dale Hatcher and William Perry take questions live on WSPA-TV call-in show, "Talking Football".
  • August 20: Freshman wide receiver Marvin Montgomery passes away after two days in a coma following traffic accident.
  • September 4: Fourth-ranked Tigers open at home against Appalachian State, winning, 40-7.
  • September 8: Third-ranked Clemson blanks Virginia in a night game in Charlottesville, 55-0.
  • September 22: Second-ranked Tigers travel to Georgia, ranked twentieth, lose, 23-26.
  • September 29: The twentieth-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets sting the Tigers, 28-21, at Grant Field, thanks to five Tiger turn-overs. The thirteenth-ranked Tigers acquit themselves well in the second half when they tie the score at 21, but the Jackets ultimately prevail.
  • October 6: Clemson defeats North Carolina, 20-12, in Memorial Stadium.
  • October 20: The Tigers down Duke, 54-21, in Death Valley.
  • October 26: Dutch cross-country star athlete Augustinus "Stijn" Jaspers is found dead in his dorm room, stunning the university. An autopsy does not uncover a cause of death, but it is soon revealed that he had taken phenylbutazone, a pain drug, illegally supplied by Clemson coaches. (Steirer, Jr., William F., "The Outsider: Bill Lee Atchley, 1979-1985", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 236.) "The prescription drug, which requires a physician's permission to use, had been obtained without prescription from a Nashville, Tennessee, druggist." (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 253.)
  • October 27: Clemson edges N.C. State in Raleigh for the win, 35-34.
  • October 30: Three coaches, Clemson track coach Stanley Narewski, strength coach Samuel Colson and assistant strength coach Jack Harkness, admit to distributing illegal drugs and steroids to athletes. Narewski provided the phenylbutazone to Jaspers. James Brummitt, acting director of public safety, informs his superior, vice president of business and finance, Melvin Barnette, a 27-year employee of the university. At this point, three administrators have learned of the serious nature of the situation: Brummitt, Barnette, and director of athletics, H.C. "Bill" McLellan. (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 253, citing articles in The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, 17, 20 March 1985.)
  • Early November: Athletic Director Bill McLellan telephones solicitor William L. Traxler of the 13th circuit at his home, and informs him that coaches have admitted supplying drugs to the dead athlete. Traxler tells McLellan that it might be a matter for the grand jury. "Meanwhile, a physician in Seneca, James Pruitt, wrote an autopsy report listing the cause of the young Dutchman's death as congestive heart failure, which had resulted from a congenital heart defect. Running had aggravated Jasper's condition." (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 253, citing article in The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, 5 March 1985.)
  • November 3: The Tigers defeat Wake Forest in Death Valley, 37-14.
  • November 9: As the start of a special first annual Spirit Blitz, students engage in the Great Hokie Hunt, following clues in The Tiger and on WSBF, and searching across campus sites, with the winner receiving a trip to Cancun, Mexico. On Friday night, 10,000 turn out for a pep rally on the intramural field, followed by a concert by the Spongetones. Then a 90-foot screen atop Memorial Stadium brightened the sky with LASERCAST, a "glittering bombardment of multi-colored laser beams never before seen in the Carolinas."
  • November 10: Fans in Death Valley for the game with Virginia Tech find 80,000 colored flashcards taped to their seats, as well as 22,000 balloons in arches across Frank Howard Field at five yard intervals as part of the first ever Spirit Blitz. Dubbed "Tunnelvision", the twenty long strings are released into the sky. The Tigers defeat the Hokies, 17-10.
  • November 17: Twentieth-ranked Clemson plays Maryland in Baltimore Memorial Stadium, but the Tigers fall, 23-41, to the Terps.
  • November 24: The ninth ranked Gamecocks squeak by the Tigers in Death Valley, 21-22, to place chill on Clemson's probation season record of 7-4, 5-2 in conference but ineligible for title or post-season play.
  • Late November: No indictments have been returned in the Augustinus "Stijn Jaspers coaching drug scandal and very few are aware of what is happening on campus and in the Atchley administration. Then Paul Jaspers, the track star's brother, arrives determined to get answers. He is stonewalled by the Athletic Department which refuses to show him the autopsy report. Jaspers then finds an athlete willing to detail the coaches' drug distribution to team members and they go to the Clemson police. Jaspers also prevails upon Seneca physician James Pruitt to amend the autopsy report allowing for possible drug causation. Jaspers also encourages solicitor William L. Traxler to empanel a grand jury. (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 253, citing articles in The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, 26, 31 March 1985.)
  • December 3: Date on which President Bill Atchley learns of the coaching and drugs scandal. "Atchley was so completely excluded from the administrative handling of the Jaspers affair that he did not learn of the problem until 3 December, when Walter T. Cox, the vice president for student affairs at Clemson, informed him of the investigation, and evidence of the involvement of illegal drugs." (Steirer, Jr., William F., "The Outsider: Bill Lee Atchley. 1979-1985", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 236, citing Atchley/Steirer interview, 18 December 1985, the author's conversation with Solicitor William L. Traxler, 18 December 1985; and report of Traxler's on the investigation, 4 January 1985, CU President's papers, Atchley, folder 37, Special Collections.)
  • December 7: President Bill Atchley calls a meeting attended by director of athletics Bill McLellan, the vice president for student affairs, Dean Cox, and Bobby Robinson, the assistant athletic director. Atchley informs them that SLED, the State Law Enforcement Agency, will investigate the serious athletic scandal unfolding. "According to the Greenville News, McLellan begged for an internal investigation, but Atchley refused. [Solicitor William L.] Traxler had already called Atchley to tell him of the SLED investigation, but McLellan led many to believe the inquiry was Atchley's choice." (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 254, citing articles in The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, 5 March 1985, and The Tiger, 11 January 1985.)
  • December 11: After being suspended by Clemson President Bill Atchley for their involvement in illegal drug distribution to athletes, track coach Stanley Narewski, strength coach Samuel Colson and assistant strength coach Jack Harkness, resign this date. (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 254, citing articles in The Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, 5 March 1985, and The Tiger, 11 January 1985.) Public reaction is swift, with The Tiger taking the same editorial stance as after the firing of football coach Red Parker and the Tates Locke basketball scandal in 1976, that a more complete house-cleaning in the athletic department is warranted. The Greenville News begins extensive coverage of the drug scandal and observes, "The extent of the problem at Clemson isn't clear, but it certainly isn't limited to the resigned coaches and members of the men's track team who first brought it to light." (Wunder, John R., "A Good Sport: Walter Thompson Cox, 1985-1986", McKale, Donald M., editor, "Tradition: A History of the Presidency of Clemson University", Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 1988, ISBN 0-86554-296-1, page 254, citing the Greenville News, Greenville, South Carolina, 10 February 1985.)
  • December 16: The Clemson Soccer Team defeats second-ranked Indiana, 2-1, in the national championship game, played in the Kingdome, Seattle, Washington. Clemson becomes the first team (regardless of sport) in NCAA history to defeat the top four seeds in a post-season tournament.


1983 The 1980's 1985