|Texas coaches group having second thoughts about Clemens|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 17 December 2007 14:37|
The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association is having second thoughts about inviting Clemens to its annual session next month following allegations in the Mitchell Report that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner used steroids.
Jim Long, president of the association, said his group plans on holding an executive meeting Tuesday to decide if Clemens will remain as one of the presenters in Waco. It is the country's largest high school baseball coaches association, Long said.
Clemens had been scheduled for the last eight months to talk about pitching and ``what he did on a daily basis that kept him in shape,'' Long said.
But last week, Clemens was named in the report by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell on the illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Clemens was accused in the report by a strength and conditioning coach of using steroids and human growth hormone.
``A dark cloud has been put over Roger's head and 99.9 percent of the media says he's guilty even though he says he's innocent,'' said Long, the coach at Brenham High School, located about 70 miles northwest of Houston. ``That presents a problem for our association. It has to come first over a player or coach.''
Through his lawyer, Clemens strongly denied using any performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, did not immediately return a telephone call Monday from The Associated Press seeking comment on the prep association.
Clemens' name does not appear on the convention's agenda on the group's Web site.
The association is hoping to speak with Clemens for a few minutes on Tuesday during its executive meeting, Long said. The group plans to make a decision by 3 p.m.
Long was adamant that the association was not jumping to conclusions or being pressured to retract its invitation to Clemens.
``We're not saying anything negative about Clemens,'' he said. ``He's been a great supporter of our association.''