Clemson Tigers have suspended key receiver Deon Cain and two other players Tuesday for violating team rules. The shocking suspensions were handed out two days before the Tigers’ monumental College Football Playoff semi-final game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
According to ESPN, the players were sent home after failing drug tests. Besides Cain, who has been Clemson’s best deep threat this season, the Tigers suspended kicker Ammon Lakip and tight end Jay Jay McCullough. As a result, the trio will not play in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Thursday.
Cain, who stepped up admirably when starter Mike Williams was ruled out of the season with a neck injury in the opener, ranks second on the team with 582 yards on 34 receptions. It would be difficult for the Tigers to replace Cain on such short notice. The other two players served as reserves.
Lakip has a history of drug-related problems. The kicker, who handled kickoffs and extra points for the Tigers, served a three-game suspension earlier in the season for an off-season arrest for cocaine possession. Meanwhile, McCullough has been playing back-up to starting tight end Jordan Leggett.
“You don’t do the right things, there’s consequences,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said during an Orange Bowl news conference on Wednesday. “It’s really that simple. It’s not a complicated matter at all. We’ve got 115 guys and 112 did what’s right and three of them didn’t. They forfeit the opportunity and privilege to be a part of the game. Really hate it for them. They’re the ones that have to deal with the consequences because they’re missing out on a great opportunity.”