Clemson freshman cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. likely expected the ejection he received for throwing a punch at a Louisville player on Saturday. But the punishment he received from Coach Dabo Swinney was a bit more creative.
While the rest of the Tigers enjoyed their charter flight back to South Carolina after Saturday’s 45-10 win over the Cardinals, Booth Jr. hit the interstate in the managers’ bus for the 450-mile drive back to campus. That gave Booth Jr., a highly touted freshman from Georgia, about seven or eight hours to think about the incident that caused Swinney send him to the locker room before the officials could eject him.
Late in the third quarter, Booth Jr. engaged in some pushing and shoving with Louisville safety Trenell Troutman on a Cardinals punt and was flagged for holding. With the pair wrestling on the ground, Booth Jr. gained top position, wound up and threw a punch directly into Troutman’s facemask. The two teams rushed to break the pair apart, and the altercation ended without further incident.
Swinney said the bus ride was just the first step, but that the program would handle any further discipline "in-house." Booth Jr. will also miss the first half of next week’s game against Boston College due to the ejection.
Swinney said after the game that Booth Jr. apologized to teammates, coaches and athletic director Dan Radakovich. He also said the altercation was extremely out of character for his freshman cornerback.
“He has to own it and learn from it and I have been pleased with how he has taken ownership and been accountable. But he had a long bus ride home last night,” Swinney said, according to the Greenville News.
The Tigers (7-0), who dropped to No. 4 in the AP Top 25 despite beating Louisville, will host Boston College (4-3) on Saturday.