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Athletic Council Records

Identifier: Series-0026

Scope and Content Note

This series contains the files of the Athletic Council of Clemson University. The files were kept by the chairmen of the council: H. W. Barre, 1929-1934; Lee W. Milford, 1935-1946 and 1949-1953; R. R. Ritchie, 1947-1949 and 1954-1971; Kenneth Vickery, 1972-1982; and B. J. Skelton, 1982-1986.

The series contains correspondence, memoranda, financial statements, audit reports, and publications.

The major part of the series relates to athletic eligibility and the concurrent issue of financial assistance to athletes. Rules concerning athletic eligibility were set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Atlantic Coast Conference as well as individual institutions. Each athlete was requested to complete an eligibility declaration which was then forwarded to the Commissioner of the ACC for approval. From these eligibility lists, lists of participants in each sport, e.g. baseball, basketball, football, were then compiled.

A large part of the series relates to the ACC and the membership of Clemson University in it. (Ritchie served as President of the ACC in 1958, 1964-1965, and 1970-1971.) Organized in Raleigh, North Carolina in June 1953, the ACC was founded "in view of the increasing problems in intercollegiate athletics" by schools wanting a smaller playing conference. Formed from the Southern Conference, the ACC consisted of an alliance of colleges in Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas. The ACC records include bulletins from the commissioner regarding amendments to eligibility statutes, news releases, minutes of meetings, annual reports, and publications. Prominent correspondents include Robert James and James B. Weaver, Commissioners of the ACC. Another part of the series relates to the NCAA. These records include constitutional amendments and resolutions, televising of football games, and regulations covering the awarding of scholarships.

Also included in the series are records related to the Clemson Athletic Association and IPTAY. Prominent correspondents include Josh Cody, Frank Howard, Frank Jervey, Bill McClellan, and Robert C. Edwards.


  • 1929 - 1985
  • 1955 - 1975


Restrictions on Use


Historical Sketch

Athletics at Clemson College during the early years of the institution consisted of cadets playing the sports of baseball and football under guidelines set forth by the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of South Carolina. But in 1902-1903, the Southern Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association, an association of colleges to which Clemson College belonged, recommended that "in the best interests of athletics" an Athletic Council be formed (Catalogue of Clemson Agricultural College, 1902-1903, p. 140). Established around 1903, the Council assumed the athletic responsibilities held by the President and distributed them to nine members: two (the president and secretary) elected by students; three faculty representatives chosen by faculty, and four students selected by the President or the faculty.

The powers of the Athletic Council were officially defined in the By-Laws of the Board of Trustees in July 1927. The Council had the authority to consider matters pertaining to athletic business, including the power to select coaches, approve budgets, and formulate schedules. It also held the authority to award athletic honors (page 38). The representation was changed to four students elected by the student body, three members of the faculty (two elected by the students and one by the alumni); four members of the faculty appointed by the President; and two alumni appointed by the Alumni Association. Faculty members were to be the rank of assistant professor or higher.

During the 1950s the composition of the Council changed to five members appointed by the President, the Business Manager and Registrar as ex-officio members, and two members elected by the Alumni Association. The Council was given the power to elect and define the duties of the head coach, and to set salaries for athletic employees.

By the early 1980s the Athletic Council consisted of twenty-one members, the majority appointed by the President. Members included a representative to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the presidents and past presidents of the Faculty Senate and IPTAY, chairman of the scholarship and awards committee and Graduate School Association, president of the Alumni Association, the student body president, president of Block C, and faculty representatives from the nine colleges.


9 Cubic Feet (and 1 box oversize items)

Language of Materials



The files are arranged alphabetically by topic. Copies of items in poor condition have been replaced with photocopies on archival quality bond.


Secretary of the Athletic Council. These files were maintained in the office of the President and the office of the Registrar.

Processing Information

Dennis S. Taylor, University Archivist, May 1991

The conversion of this finding aid to Encoded Archival Description format was made possible with a grant from the South Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board in 2009-2010. The finding aid was prepared for encoding by Carl Redd.


Athletic Council Records
2010 July 19
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Repository Details

Part of the Clemson University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Repository

230 Kappa St.
Clemson SC 29634 U.S.A. US