When i heard that LW would come out with an article interviewing TDP I knew it was a good thing that I would be offline for the weekend. On top of the debacle I expected against NC State, that would've been too much to bear going into that game. I knew TDP was living in La-La Land and sleeping most days away already, so when I read the article the other day, I was not surprised at the contents. I wanted to rip his throat out, but I wasn't surprised. I find that I do better by expecting the worst from Clemson's administrators, and hope to be surprised.
Since that loss to UNC where Dabo took full blame for his horrid preparation and playcalling, we've been pressing Tiger fans to make their complaints directly to the BOT, and we do know you are being heard by some on the Board. I know some of you have talked to BOT members directly and they are very displeased with the situation and they have admitted that the direction of this Athletic Department is lacking, and generally trending downwards, both financially and in terms of overall morale, so today's article from TI comes as no surprise to us. We have already heard about these things, but I'm no reporter and take no interest in breaking all the news I hear, nor do I print anything that sounds completely made up.
I said last spring that I did not expect TDP to be in place through the Summer, but he lasted beyond that. I do not personally believe that under any circumstances this man will remain as Clemson AD beyond the 2011 season, but I do not know whether he'll be fired this season. Multiple sources are saying he's as good as gone already, and I do trust those sources, but I can see scenarios where we'll be stuck with him and Dabo Swinney no matter what.
Ask yourself the question, does TDP survive at Clemson to hire the next Football Coach?
TDP will sink or swim with Dabo, he knows this as does everyone else. Over the next 3 games there are some scenarios that I think could play out:
1. Dabo wins the next 3. Fanbase goes nuts, thinks Dabo is the 2nd coming, Dabo-is-Danny comparisons continue ad infinitum. TDP survives even if the Board of Trustees really wants him out. There have been more anti-TDP members on that Board as of late, but the impetus to fire anyone will disappear if Clemson wins the next 3 games. If that happens, you'll see them give Swinney a long-term deal on par with what Barker ordered TDP to give to Bowden when Arky came calling.
2. CU loses 2 of the next 3, one of those to SC. TDP gets the axe. No one would put up with losing to WF and losing to SC for the 2nd year in a row for the first time since the '70s. People could understand a loss to FSU in Tallahassee, but then losing to WF or SC subsequently would also be unforgivable.
3. CU loses to FSU and WF, then beats SC. People forgive Dabo because only the SC game really matters to us at this point anyway, and it shuts up cockfan for awhile. TDP pushes hard for a new contract for Swinney and the impetus otherwise from the fans is so lacking that the BOT may let it through, but TDP is still run off.
4. CU wins 2 of 3, and here it gets tricky. Depends on who we lose to and how badly. If we win the Atlantic, nobody gets fired. All of you know that. We could back into it despite ourselves because we have a crap conference and no change will be made. Even if we then lost to SC, people would say Dabo has won two Atlantic Titles and no one goes out the door. Everyone will forget that we looked like dogshit against Miami, UNC, and NCSU because we got that trophy. TDP gets his contract through for Swinney and sticks around a little longer. However, any permutation of the other outcomes I could see ending up with TDP out the door and Dabo on a short leash for 2011.
Then the question of who will replace TDP? If you expect the worst as I do, its a short list of people who have no business being the AD here: Mike Hamilton (Tenn), Kyle Young, or Billy D'Andrea. If that happens you might as well swallow Bleach.
Dabo Swinney is not going to be fired after this season either way, but a new AD will mean he must perform in 2011 or he's gone. So if TDP goes, and they actually don't hire an idiot named above but a good candidate, then 2011 will be his final year here.
As for the rampant speculation about staff changes, I don't see any happening at all unless we tank from here out. I think Dabo's ego will not let him fire anyone, especially Napier, because a new guy will not acquiesce to his playcalling demands so easily. I think we're stuck with Jeff Scott no matter what, but Brad could conceivably move "up" to an Admin job, though I do doubt that too. In any event, I bet these changes do not happen until after February because a few of these recruits have such connections to the staff that they'd walk if we fired people, and Dabo honestly thinks Clemson's problem is the lack of good players and not his idiotic playcalling or offensive coaching.
So if you realize that TDP needs to go, you need to oppose any movement he makes in regards to another Swinney contract and let them know about it. The BOT can block any contract that our AD suggests. Let him play through the one he just agreed to, and don't let them hamstring our AD financially, because we're still paying off Bowden's buyout (which we believe was made with a loan we are paying off incrementally, as the lump sum does not appear in the CUAD budget) and we don't need another 4 million price tag on bad coaching. Don't let them think about picking a Director from within the system either, because the system needs a total revamp. If you send them a well-written and respectful letter, you have a better chance of influencing change.