LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dabo Swinney did not wait for the officials to decide on whether to toss Andrew Booth from the game, he did it himself.
During a Clemson punt return in the third quarter of Saturday’s 45-10 victory over Louisville, Booth and Cardinals’ defensive back Trennell Troutman got in a tussle, which resulted in Booth slamming Troutman to the ground and then throwing punches.
After the game, Swinney apologized to Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield and said Booth was going to “ride the bus home” from Louisville.
Booth was penalized for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was ejected from the game. Of course, Swinney had already tossed him.
“I am disappointed in Booth,” the Clemson coach said afterward. “That really disappointed me. That is not who we are and that is not who he is. He is one of the best young people and is from an unbelievable family. If you would have asked me to list one through hundred who will most likely to do something like that, he would be at the bottom of the list.
“So, just kind of really disappointed in him. There will be consequences involved with that, but I apologized to Coach (Scott) Satterfield and Louisville. That is not acceptable behavior. Again, he will learn from it, but it is not indicative of who he is.”
Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables said Booth’s incident was also handled by the team’s seniors, who spoke to the freshman in the locker room after the game.
“I did not need to. I tried to encourage him, and Coach Swinney certainly did, and the other players did,” Venables said. “That is not who we are. Andrew is a great kid and comes from a great family. That is not who he is. He lost his mind temporarily and he will have to suffer the consequences.
“That is not the image we want out there as a football team. It was out of character for him, but he will learn from it.”
As for what the players’ thought about Booth’s fight, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence confirmed they were not happy, but they forgave him.
“It was in the moment and things got heated and he made a bad decision. But I know him. He is a great guy,” Lawrence said. “But that is not what our program is about. That is not who we are. We just don’t do stuff like that.”
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