College Sports

No plane ride home for Clemson defender who threw punch vs Louisville

The Clemson football team had a victory to celebrate on its short flight home from Louisville following Saturday’s 45-10 victory.

The trip home was most likely not as pleasant for Tigers freshman defensive back Andrew Booth.

The Georgia native was ejected in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Cardinals after throwing Louisville sophomore Trenell Troutman to the ground and punching him in the helmet during a punt.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was furious with Booth after the play and said during his postgame press conference that Booth would “have some consequences.” Those consequences started with his trip home following the game.

“The team flew back and he rode back on our manager bus,” Swinney said during his weekly teleconference Sunday night. “So that was where it started. There’s a couple we’ll handle in house here.”

Booth will also be suspended for the first half of this week’s game against Boston College, “per the rules,” according to Swinney. The first-half suspension will occur because the ejection took place in the second half of Saturday’s game.

Swinney did say that he is pleased with the way Booth has responded from the incident.

“He’s very remorseful and responded the way you would hope a great young person would respond. He’s very disappointed in himself, embarrassed. He’s apologized to his team, our AD,” Swinney said. “That’s way out of character for who he is. He’s gotta own it and learn from it. But very pleased with how he’s taken ownership and been accountable. But he had a long bus ride home last night, plenty of time to think about it.”

Injury updates

Clemson had several players leave Saturday’s game with injuries, including cornerback Derion Kendrick, offensive lineman John Simpson, defensive tackle Xavier Kelly and running back Travis Etienne.

Swinney does not believe any of the injuries are serious but said it remains to be seen if any players could be held out this coming week.

“It’s just too early. We’ll assess all of those guys today. We’ll assess them again tomorrow,” Swinney said.

Etienne said after the win that he should be fine moving forward.

“I made a cut and my foot landed awkward. My ankle kind of tweaked on me,” the junior said. “It was instant impact. I couldn’t put no pressure on it at that time but when I got across the sideline, got across the field, I felt much better.”

Kendrick had turf toe, but defensive coordinator Brent Venables said after the game he is hopeful the sophomore will not miss any time.

“It wasn’t very severe. Probably could’ve gone (back in),” Venables said. “Some of it’s I’ve just got my fingers crossed. But I think he’ll be fine.”

In addition to the players that were banged up during the game, defensive end Xavier Thomas missed the game after suffering a concussion last week in practice.

“No comment on Xavier other than he’s just going through the protocol,” Swinney said. “We’re just waiting to see what the doctors say. That’s where we are there.”

Matt Connolly is the Clemson beat writer and covers recruiting and college sports for The State newspaper and The State.com
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