CLEMSON, SC - Despite living in an era of paranoid coaches, closed practices and little leaked information - it's likely a full-time Clemson student could play quarterback for Furman University...against Clemson Saturday.
The No. 2 Tigers, the three-time defending ACC champion, host their in-state rival in the 2018 season opener. Furman University's football team has yet to announce its starting quarterback for Saturday's season opener at No. 2 Clemson. There's a chance both redshirt freshman JeMar Lincoln or redshirt senior Harris Roberts could play. If (when?) Roberts sees the field (he completed 9-of-13 passes for 110 yards last season), it will provide the final chapter in a bizarre, two-teaming situation.
Because Furman University does not offer an engineering major, Roberts is a full-time engineering student at Clemson after spending his first three collegiate years earning a pre-engineering bachelor's degree at Furman - located 30 miles away. After attending practices, he drives from Clemson to Furman for football practice.
Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples cites the NCAA bylaw allowing Roberts to play for a school at which he doesn't attend classes:
188.8.131.52 Cooperative Educational Exchange Program. A student-athlete may represent the certifying institution in intercollegiate athletics even though at the time of competition the student is enrolled in another institution in a cooperative educational exchange program, provided:
(a) The certifying institution considers the student to be regularly enrolled in a minimum full-time program of studies; and
(b) All work is placed on the student's transcript and accepted toward his or her undergraduate degree at the certifying institution.
Upon completion of his coursework, Roberts will have a bachelor's degree from Furman and a mechanical engineering degree from Clemson. Should the 6-foot-4 senior play vs. the Tigers Saturday, it will also present a 'degree' of wackiness never-before-seen by Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney.
"That's a first for me," Swinney said smiling when asked if he's ever coached against a player who is a full-time student at the University at which he coaches. That's pretty unusual. He must be an awesome student for him to do what he's done - balancing being enrolled at Clemson as well. I guess he can't lose, right?"
Furman and Clemson kickoff at 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast LIVE on WGNT.