Other Schools Tamper with Clemson Star

CLEMSON — Clemson head baseball coach Erik Bakich spoke to the media for nearly 35 minutes Thursday from the players facility at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Below are some notes from Bakich’s press conference:

–The Clemson skipper said other schools, through third-party representatives, did come after Cam Cannarella, who was the ACC’s Rookie of the Year in 2023 and was an All-American. “There was tampering going on with him. There were third parties. That is how it is done. It is never done directly to coach to player. It is the third-party stuff.”

–Bakich said he is excited Cannarella decided to stay at Clemson. He cannot wait to see all the things his centerfielder is going to accomplish. “It is exciting to think about his trajectory and the career he can build for himself on that trajectory and being able to play this great game for a long, long time. I love his fire. I love his competitiveness and I do not want him to lose that for one second. It’s what makes him great. He is awesome. We love having him. I am glad he is on our team and is staying on our team.”

–Clemson’s head coach was also asked about former Tiger Billy Amick and his thoughts on why the All-American decided to leave Clemson and transfer to Tennessee. “Billy is a great hitter. There were probably a lot of things that went into it for him personally. I do not want to speak for him. I think for me, we did not want him to go, but obviously, we wish him all the best. He is an elite hitter, and he had an elite year. So, I hope he continues to find that success.”

–NIL was the theme early on in Bakich’s press conference. He said with the 11.7 scholarship limit in college baseball, Clemson Baseball is using the NIL to help fund players’ scholarships, so they do not have to take out student loans or empty their parents’ pockets anymore. He said he would love to tell his players’ parents they don’t have to take out loans anymore.

–Bakich did not know outfielder Will Taylor was going to give up football, until Taylor made the decision. The Clemson coach said he spoke to Taylor and his father, and they thought everything through. He said they are not concerned about the money in the present because they are looking long-term. By deciding to give up football, Taylor lost his scholarship and currently is paying his own way this semester. Bakich said he hopes to find a little scholarship money for Taylor at a later point. He said Taylor’s situation is a good example of how NIL can be helpful.

–As for going all in with baseball, Bakich said Taylor has a very good chance to turn it into a high draft pick, especially since this will be the first time in his athletic career he focused on just baseball.

–Bakich said third baseman Blake Wright is returning, as are relievers Nick Clayton and Rob Hughes.

–The Clemson baseball team will have 20 new players on the roster in 2024, with seven of them coming in as transfers.

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