McElrathbey enrolled at Clemson in August 2005 and redshirted his freshman season. In the
summer before the 2006 season, Ray’s 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr, came to Clemson to visit.
That visit lasted around a month because there were problems at home.
Their mother had just moved back to Atlanta, Georgia from Las Vegas, Nevada, and was fighting
a drug-addiction.Ray Ray had experienced his mother’s drug problems before and thought it
would be best if Fahmarr did not have to return to that situation. Ray Ray decided to bring
Fahmarr back to Clemson to live with him during preseason camp.
It became a national story as Clemson went after a waiver that allowed Ray Ray to receive help
financially and rides that took Fahmarr to school while Ray-Ray went to classes and practice.
In a breakthrough decision, the NCAA granted the waiver that allowed coaches and
administrators’ wives to transport Fahmarr to school and install a trust fund that would help with
Fahmarr’s daily needs.
While McElrathbey wasn’t the best player on the field, he displayed courage and outstanding
leadership while putting his scholarship on the line to make sure his brother lived in a safe place
under his wing.