CLEMSON - It was in 1999 - a year removed from Brad Scott's firing as USC's coach - when Clemson players hoisted assistant coach Brad Scott on their shoulders after their 31-21 victory in Columbia. A decade has since passed since that indelible image. One of Scott's sons, Clemson receivers coach Jeff Scott, suggested this week's rivalry contest does not carry the personal undertones it once did - but that's a claim some of Jeff's players do not necessary agree with.
Brad Scott said Monday that former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden put the players up to the postgame display.
"Tommy set me up," Scott said with a laugh. "If I had any friends left at South Carolina, I lost them that day. And that was his whole reason. He said, 'You're 100 percent Clemson now. I've got you now.'"
Jeff Scott, a former Clemson walk-on, can remember from 2000 the awkward feeling of establishing eye contact with USC safety Rashad Faison, just seconds after Faison barely missed blocking the Tigers' game-winning field goal. Scott was the holder on the kick that gave the Tigers a 16-14 victory, and he and Faison had grown into close friends while in Columbia.
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"To be on the other side and standing right there, that was kind of unique," Jeff said.
"People ask if it was hard. It's not very hard when one school fires your father and your family. It's pretty easy to put on the other colors."
The movie "The Blind Side," which opened in theaters last week, features an actor portraying Scott's role in the recruitment of former Mississippi left tackle Michael Oher.
In author Michael Lewis' book about Oher's rags-to-riches story, Scott was one of five college assistants who scouted the unknown Oher for the first spring practice before his senior year.
Scott allegedly ran onto the field after Oher's first one-on-one blocking drill and told Oher's private school coach, "I've seen all I need to see," implying Oher had a Clemson scholarship if so desired. Then Scott returned home.
"I went up there about four times before I learned the truth about his background, who his family was and where he was staying," Scott said. "It was a great story, and that school wrapped its arms around that boy, for sure. He overcame a lot of odds to do it."
Scott has seen the film and said the casting executives should have done more research before filling his bit part.
"They didn't know who I was, evidently," he said. "That looked like my son in there, about 150 pounds ago for me."
Making the cut
Running back C.J. Spiller has been named one of three finalists for the Doak Walker award, presented to the nation's top running back.
The other finalists are Alabama's Mark Ingram and Stanford's Toby Gerhart.
Clemson will wear Nike's new line of lightweight uniforms Saturday. The Tigers are one of 11 schools chosen for the one-game display.
The jersey and pants will be white, with an orange stripe going up the side of the leg and across the back waist.