Our opinion: McClinton deserving of any honor UM can bestow

With all the Ibis Ride hubbub last week, we didn’t get a chance to tip our hat to Jack McClinton, who was tapped by Iron Arrow Tuesday evening. While some people hate the jackets and drums, it still is the highest honor attained on campus and there’s no person on campus who deserves the nod more than the senior guard from Baltimore.

You may be asking what’s the big deal about McClinton? Miami has had plenty of great competitors walk through the Hecht Athletic Center doors, what makes him any more special? While it’s true that many athletes have attended UM, McClinton was literally and figuratively a game-changer. He took basketball from an afterthought to a priority in student’s minds, something impossible to think of just a few years ago. While there’s still so much work to do, McClinton is the reason Canes fans even know what March Madness is.

But that’s not all. At a school that was formally known as “Thug U,” McClinton is stellar on the court and in the classroom. His repeat appointment to the All-ACC first team is only bested by his three appearances on the All-ACC Academic team.

The problem McClinton might face is the same problem he’s helped fix. Basketball doesn’t share the limelight with football and baseball, and McClinton risks being lost in the fray as the years press on. Hall of Famer Rick Barry attended Miami and even had his number retired, but is often forgotten in the discussion of all-time great Canes. Miami must take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen to McClinton. Tap him into Iron Arrow, retire his number, even give him tenure, but don’t let this great fade away.