James Barker and his Top 20 Initiative

This was posted on TI today, and should be put up where everyone can see it. Hopefully he doesnt mind.

The following are the only BCS schools to not have accomplished at least one of the following since 1992.

1) 10 win season
2) Win a Conference Championship
3) Play in a BCS Bowl Game

Iowa State
South Carolina

* Joined Division I since 1992

Clemson reported $35.2 million in football revenue in 2008-09, followed by Virginia Tech ($27.7 million), Miami ($27.2 million) and Florida State ($24.9 million). The Hokies’ revenue also increased 12 percent to $31.1 million in 2009-10.

During the 2008-09 academic year, the most recent year with data available for all the schools, the programs that spent the most on football were Miami ($20.9 million), Boston College ($19.4 million), Clemson ($18.8 million) and Virginia Tech ($18.2 million).

From this article, Clemson gets a butt load more revenue than all of the ACC, but where did that 17 million go? It did not go back to the program. Did it go into the arbitrary initiative called top 20? I need some more research on this. I personally donate to the Civil Engineering dept. and IPTAY. Do all my IPTAY donations go to the athletic program?

Better football programs = more applicants = more selective admissions = better academic rankings

-FOURTH TRUTH from a Tigerillustrated poster (Coby Dubose) about Barker and the Top 20 agenda (shortened)
*Barker talks about improving the school, but uses artificial metrics.

*We should remember the New York Times article that recalled:

"Clemson officials, in filling out the reputational survey form for presidents, rate ‘all programs other than Clemson below average,’ to make the university look better." (NY Times, 2009).

And then Barker's response:

"The accusation that Clemson, its staff and administrators have engaged in unethical conduct to achieve a higher ranking is untrue and unfairly disparages the sincere, unwavering and effective efforts of faculty and staff to improve academic quality over the past 10 years."

He also said:

"While we have publicly stated our goal of a Top 20 ranking, we have repeatedly stressed that we use the criteria as indicators of quality improvement and view a ranking as the byproduct, not the objective."

Some would argue that these are outright lies.

*Clemson also actively manipulates class sizes in a way that have a negligible effect on quality of instruction but benefit the school in rankings.

*The US News and World Report recently changed the way it constructed its rankings in response to criticism. Clemson University, a school that has been around for more than a century, is basing its university vision around a magazine metric that is subject to change at any time. Let that sink in for a while.

* USNWR can be artificially manipulated. A article suggests other things, as well. The article cited Clemson University as a primary rankings manipulator.

That article said:

"I also think that, while yield rate and graduation are positive steps, these changes do not make up for the fact that, in the end, the U.S. News rankings focus too much on prestige and standardized testing, and too little on what the school has to offer to its students."

*Vault's rankings has Clemson tumbling.

*What happens when USNWR goes under for whatever reason? What happens if Vault suddenly becomes the leading magazine ranking system? What if students pay attention to other ranking systems? What will Clemson be left with then?

*USNWR is not published anymore, it is only an online rankings entity. Let that sink in for a moment. **My note, USNWR does publish their College ranking issue.

* 5% of the USNWR rankings are determined by the percentage of alums who are giving back to the university. This is metric that's designed to see what kind of connection the U has with its graduates.

At graduation, Clemson handed out an envelope with two dollars and a place on the back for students to sign their names and addresses. The people giving the money to each student asked us to then "put it back in the bucket as a way of making our first donation to Clemson's alumni fund".

Clemson just sunk to giving money to people to donate in order to satisfy this portion of the rankings. It racked up 100% of those graduates for the sake of the survey, while actually creating NO new wealth for the university.

-FIFTH Truth from
Clemson has ranked in the top 20 in the nation in average attendance 22 consecutive seasons..
How many other CFB teams any where near this fan support have such a bad 20 years? None.

Our admission process for athletes is more difficult than most ACC schools. There are many example, but the best example is Dwight Jones (5 star WR) was denied at Clemson, but UNC (a better academic school) could accept him. A quick source I found:

We have hampered our athletic dept. by making it harder for athletes to be admitted and by taken out the most money from the program than any other ACC school. For what? An arbitrary magazine metric that can easily be debated and manipulated. I think this will hurt Clemson athletics and academics in the future.

-Clemson receives more football revenue than any ACC school. How many ACC Championships do we have? 0
-Clemson has the best attendance and fan base in the ACC.
-Clemson tuition has increased tremendously since I was there.
-Pretty much all of Barker's goals (Top 20, Nat'l Champ, 2 Final Fours) have been a huge failure. A freaking joke. He is awesome at demagoguery. IMO, a lot of our increased rankings in the USNWR is due to the SC Lottery. Smarter students are staying instate. This happened to UGA after their lottery was implemented.
-It is harder for an athlete to be admitted.
-Better football programs get more applicants = better education ranking

We deserve better. I want a better Clemson in both athletics and academics. I want a pragmatic Clemson president. I do not want an ideologue focused on magazine..ummmm I mean online rankings. Barker has had 10 freaking years. How much longer does he need to be there before we become USuC's perennial beotch? It is time for a change and hopefully we can come up with term limits.

My academic goals for Clemson would be to help the state of SC, the USA, and the world with innovation in agriculture, engineering, medicine and sustainable energy, etc, etc. Not by improving our magazine ranking. We need some real tangible goals. However, I will give Barker credit for increased research funding and some other academic improvements.

I just hope TDP is not being used as a Machiavellian scape goat right now (read The Prince). I do not think he is the real problem. It starts at the top, we need to get to the bottom of how the money is spent and be proactive about it being spent on the right and fair things. The football program needs an adequate indoor practice facility, a training table, among many others. Hopefully if we (the alumns and fans) are mad enough the people at the top will start listening.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton

Edit: written by Richeclemson.

These opinions are not necessarily those of the Proprietors of Shakin' The Southland.

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