CLEMSON, S.C., OCT. 9 -- The ACC is in the process of creating a sportsmanship policy to govern all sports.
A four-member sportsmanship committee, headed by Clemson Associate Athletic Director Dwight Rainey, has been gathering information concerning the proposal. It will present its recommendations during a meeting at the conference office in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday.
Committee members would not discuss any specific topics in their research, but bench decorum is expected to be high on the list.
Three times this season -- twice last week against Georgia -- the Clemson football team has left its bench to come to the defense of one of its own. ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan said any action he may take "will deal with the institution directly, not publicly."
The ACC has a bench brawl rule for basketball, one that was strengthened this year to include an immediate suspension for the next game, but none yet for football. The conference is hoping to develop a blanket code of conduct for all athletes, coaches, support groups, media and fans in every sport.
"We want to have a policy that is set in stone . . . for all our athletic events," said Fred Barakat, a member of the committee and supervisor of ACC basketball officials. "We're looking to make a good definition. It's not a good definition to come up with."
The committee, which also includes Virginia Associate Athletic Director Jim West and Duke facilities manager Tom D'Armi, was not formed in response to the Tigers' three bench-clearing incidents, officials said. The group met for the first time Sept. 27, three weeks after the initial incident.
It also was not formed as part of the ACC's "model program," an ACC-wide concept designed to bring college athletics back into the mainstream of the education process. But, Barakat said, it "fits in beautifully" with the conference's master plan.