According to Kristy, Clavelle only occasionally provides money for 14-month-old Derek's care, and he visits infrequently. Clavelle would not comment on his relationship with Kristy, but two Buffalo players told SI that Clavelle had said to them that he is Derek's father.
Kristy has consulted with a lawyer, who has advised her to wait until Clavelle leaves school before pursuing him for child support. Clavelle will decide this week whether he will forgo his senior year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.
During her second pregnancy Kristy felt it was necessary to leave town. "I know what people would say," she says. "I've heard their mean things so many, many times before. I try to ignore it all, but this time I had to get out." A licensed masseuse, she is now out of work and says she's "depressed a lot, lonely." She feels she has been a victim in a Boulder morality play. There are few greater burdens, it would seem, than to descend from a self-made preacher.
McCartney remains fiercely protective of his daughter. Sitting at his desk, McCartney freely admitted that he neglected his children—he and Lyndi also have three sons—as they were growing up, instead spending all his time "with someone else's kids," implying that if he had been around more, maybe things would have turned out differently for Kristy. Later, when told what her father had said, Kristy sighed and said, "I would say that's right. We missed out on a lot."
Although McCartney won't put it in these terms, people who share his religious convictions might wonder if he has been punished for the sin of ambition—if, while McCartney did not sell his soul to the devil, he did lend him his family. He has been criticized in the past for the type of player he has recruited in a relentless search for talent. As SI reported (Feb. 27, 1989), between 1986 and '89,24 Buffaloes were arrested on charges that ranged from sexual assault to criminal trespass. In 1988 Aunese served 14 days in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault. And there have been other incidents since then. In December, Clavelle was convicted on an assault charge and received an 18-month deferred sentence.
But would McCartney, sitting behind his desk now, admit that Kristy's pain contributed to his regret and to his desire to leave coaching? "It's not so," he says calmly. "It's just not so."
Actually, he says, it is his wife who requires his attention. If you believe him, his retirement is only the logical extension of his religious beliefs, a stew of ideas that combines ultraconservative politics with idealized concepts of marriage. But McCartney promises you that he was simply overcome by a creeping conviction to overhaul his life. He allows that this is the most unsettling explanation of all, because it means it could happen to you.
McCartney's beliefs are the same ones that animate the Promise Keepers, an all-male evangelical movement he cofounded in 1990. The movement takes rigid family-value ideas from here and there, then puts a thoroughly male spin on them and, thriving on what is clearly an anti-feminist backlash, is playing these days to rallies that draw crowds of 50,000 and more. In addition to taking harsh stands against abortion and homosexuality—McCartney has publicly referred to gays as "stark raving mad" and called them "an abomination against Almighty God"—the Promise Keepers proclaim the primacy of the man in the household.
Some of these ideas are, to say the least, controversial. But another of these, the most benign of them, has lately taken possession of McCartney and prompted him to renounce ambition, greed and vanity—some of the things required of any successful football coach—and embrace a Utopian idea of marriage. This epiphany has been a surprise to him, too; of all the lives he hoped to change, he never figured to transform his own.
"The glory of a man is his wife," McCartney says. His words sound scripted, but the intensity with which he utters them is unnerving. "Nothing tells you more about a man than what you see in his wife. When you look into the countenance of a man's wife, you will see everything he has invested or withheld. You will sec what kind of character he has."