Clemson hit with Civil Rights criticism, scrutiny over reduce observe group

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After the outcry over Clemson who hired the men’s track and field and cross country team, supporters are seeking ways at state and federal levels to investigate the university’s decision.

State Senator Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston and Dorchester, wrote an open letter to Clemson President Jim Clements and Senate President Harvey Peeler, calling on the General Assembly to investigate the team’s demolition.

“In my view, based on the program’s current demographics, cutting the program will have a cross-generational effect on African American men,” said Kimpson’s December 30 letter.

National activist Russell Dinkins (who didn’t attend Clemson University but is a retired college track and field athlete) filed a federal complaint against the university saying the harm done to athletes with paint was in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Dinkins declined to provide a copy of the complaint, but said Clemson violated Title VI of the law, which prohibited racial discrimination.

“This decision will have an overwhelming impact on a racial group. This will lead to discriminatory policies that adversely affect the black student community,” said Dinkins.

The men’s track and field team has the highest number of black athletes at Clemson not generating income, according to NCAA reports. Athletes and alumni told The Greenville News that the track team is providing avenues to higher education and professional sport for athletes with marginalized backgrounds, and is cutting off the blocks of programs that provide the opportunity for countless athletes.

Athletics spokesman Jeff Kallin said Clemson University did not receive any notifications regarding the civil rights complaint on Tuesday morning. However, Kallin said the university reiterates its commitment to diversity and stands behind its decision to hire the team.

State Senator Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston and Dorchester, wrote an open letter to Clemson President Jim Clements and Senate President Harvey Peeler, calling on the General Assembly to investigate the team's demolition.

Clemson hit with state inquiry, federal complaint

Kimpson said he did not know if the decision to cut the team was the right one, but as a state senator it was his responsibility to investigate the decision after seeing “hundreds of emails and social media messages.” have received.

Kimpson said Clemson Athletics Director Dan Radakovich was not transparent when he announced the decision to cut the team. Radakovich said a number of issues – financial issues, gender equality, and COVID-19 – resulted in the team being hired in June 2021.

“And while I haven’t investigated these reasons, the email was very, very detailed,” said Kimpson.

Read the announcement here.

Archive images of Clemson men's track and field athletes

Supporters of the team said the university’s reasoning made no sense to them and continued to advocate a reversal since Radakovich announced it in November.

Kimpson said a legal investigation couldn’t change the university’s decision, but the South Carolinians deserve clear answers.

“We have a duty to consult our institutions that make important decisions without being fully transparent to the members who represent the universities in all South Carolina constituencies,” he told The News and Mail.

First report:Clemson cuts athletics for men, cross country in “tough decision”

As a public land grant entity, Clemson is a government agency and can be disrupted by the General Assembly.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mark Land, vice president for Clemson University Relations, said the university had no comment on the matter but would reach out to the senator.

Dinkins, who has successfully helped teams at Brown, William & Mary, and Minnesota Universities reinstate cut track teams, said the complaint is meant to put pressure on the university, especially since it eliminates opportunities for people of color, especially black athletes.

Archive images of Clemson men's track and field athletes

“This decision … is incomprehensible and frankly inexcusable and unacceptable. I don’t think a university should be willing to accept these costs. I mean, it literally costs educational opportunities for people in a community that is underserved.” “

According to Clemson Athletics, there are 51 athletes on the men’s track and field team, 22 of whom are black. The team has the second highest number of Pell Grants for any male team. Pell Grants are a form of needs-based federal study grant.

Dinkins said he had received no news that the Justice Department opened an investigation into Clemson, which he filed on December 30.

The former Princeton athlete said he filed the complaint on behalf of Save Clemson XCTF, a grassroots group of 2,000 people hoping to reinstate the team. Dinkins is not paid for its efforts, he said.

And with pressure from government sources mounting, the Clemson athletes are not slowing down to get reinstated, Dinkins said.

“It feels like you’ve been left out and forgotten by Clemson. I want to talk to this pain because being born from this pain is an intense passion.”

Zoe covers Clemson – just don’t ask her about touchdowns or tackles. Find her at [email protected] or @zoenicholson_ on Twitter.

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