The most shocking result of the entire season was last week as No. 3 Clemson was obliterated 51-14 by visiting No. 5 Florida State, a game in which Jameis Winston vaulted himself into the Heisman discussion, while Clemson QB Tajh Boyd bowed out with his worst performance since 2011. Clemson's national championship hopes? Also virtually dead and buried at this point.
So of course that unusually lackluster performance took on greater significance when it came out that one betting-themed site reported hours before the FSU game that Boyd had significant gambling debts. Sound the alarms, right? Well, no.
Boyd, his family and head coach Dabo Swinney flatly denied the rumor, per The State: Athletics director Dan Radakovich instructed his compliance office to investigate the allegations, and by Monday morning he was convinced they were baseless.
"I don't really know where that came from," Boyd said during his weekly meeting with media representatives. "When I heard it, it was pretty shocking. That being built on top of the loss made it a rough little weekend."
Boyd's parents are angry and considering legal action. "These reports are totally false," Carla Boyd told TheClemsonInsider.com. "Please leave my son alone."
The problem is that the report came from not just any betting website, but one called Incarcerated Bob's Sports Wrap. Ordinarily the identity of a purveyor of false information wouldn't be noteworthy, but since it's this site, it's worth recalling an insane story by Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter David Purdum on his own site when he tried interviewing "Incarcerated Bob." It, um, escalates quickly:
I just wanted to interview Incarcerated Bob.
Instead, I got the names of family members and my home address published on Twitter in a threatening manner. I got publicly accused of being affiliated with the "KKK in the south." Incarcerated Bob even went as far as to fabricate an email exchange between us that never occurred, posting it on his site in a sensational piece of fiction that had me using racial slurs and attempting extortion.
Soooo, yeah. We don't know if Boyd has gambling debts — we don't hang out with him or anything — but considering the source, there's absolutely no more reason to believe it's more credible than some half-finished Mad Libs sheet. Frankly, it's a shame that Clemson had to even lift a finger investigating this. But at least with the weight of the school's compliance efforts behind the denial, we can safely kick this story into the dumpster where it belongs.