Here’s a news item about a tragedy that has a silver lining thanks to the University of Clemson and its football coach Dabo Swinney. High School football star Jake Nicolopulos had a dream to play college football for the Clemson Tigers and it was all set to become a reality until he had a stroke that now requires him to learn how to walk and talk all over again. It appeared as if his lifelong wish to be a part of the Tigers would never happen now.
Not until coach Swinney and company decided to honor Jake’s commitment to Clemson and proceeded to make their offer anyway. Somehow, despite the difficulty in even holding a pen, Jake signed the contract and his dream came true. Just like that. All because of a class act named Dabo Swinney and the fine institution called Clemson.
I heard this story while driving into work this morning on 790 the zone as they interviewed coach Swinney and it moved me deeply. What a wonderful display of humanity that put things in perspective. I’ve always liked Clemson (because my wife graduated from Clemson and played in the Tiger band) but now I’m an even bigger fan. Now that’s a man I would love any of my sons to play football for. Incidentally, my wife Lori also worked as a rehab nurse at Spinal Sheppard Center in Atlanta, GA where Jake is rehabbing.
Here’s more information about Jake and this heart-warming story.
Update 1 year later