A Pickens Police Department officer was fired this week after discussing a recent traffic stop of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on an Internet message board.
According to a press release from Pickens police chief Rodney Gregory, Corporal Mike McClatchy was fired for violation of city computer policy, an ethics code violation and violations of general orders.
McClatchy pulled over Swinney’s Ford F-150 pickup truck on Monday, Sept. 3, as Swinney was pulling into the Pickens Bi-LO to appear on his weekly coach’s show.
A 14-minute dash cam video of the incident, available on YouTube, shows Swinney getting out of the truck, accompanied by his brother, Tracy, who recently retired from a lengthy career as a police officer in Pelham, Ala.
McClatchy’s microphone was malfunctioning, but Swinney is heard to exclaim that he has to get to his radio show and appears generally perturbed. McClatchy clocked Swinney at a speed of 63 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.
McClatchy requests that the Swinneys return to the truck, but they instead stand outside the truck as he processes the ticket. While waiting, Dabo is approached by several fans, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries.
He signs a large cardboard cutout and a football for one fan.
After Dabo receives the ticket, Tracy Swinney approaches McClatchy and tells him that “I’ve never been so disappointed in a police officer as I am right now.”
McClatchy wrote about the incident in a post – which was later removed – on 247Sports.com’s South Carolina site, ripping Swinney and his brother for their behavior.
Swinney has paid the ticket and also sent a letter to the Pickens Police Department apologizing for the incident.
Swinney and other Clemson coaches have traditionally visited a rotation of area Bi-LO stores for their coaches’ call-in shows. However, Dabo has only one visit left this season – on Oct. 8 in Greenville.
Clemson announced this week that he will be doing his show most weeks from a newly-created studio in the Jervey Athletic Center, with live streaming on the school’s official Web site.
Clemson officials said Friday that the move had been planned since June.