Clemson Board of Trustees Elects to Support Mediocrity

"I’m pleased to say Terry Don Phillips will continue to serve as our director of athletics," Barker said. "The evaluation I did was based off of both qualitative and quantitative assessment. I started from personal integrity to trustworthiness to how competitive we were."

"The bottom line is Terry Don Phillips has done an outstanding job as our director of athletics."

Clemson’s Board of Trustees chose mediocrity for our Athletic program for years to come today.

For the record, much of what we posted days ago was corroborated by Rivals’ Larry Williams and Cris Ard, and they, along with many people unconnected with the internet sites (blogs, paysites, etc.) thought that it was only a matter of time before Phillips was shown the door.

That all changed Friday afternoon when TDP met with the BOT and Barker and addressed the issues that were presented for the "with cause" termination, and today your BOT decided to support both of them.

What we’ve heard occurred Friday afternoon was this: Barker made a presentation to the Board regarding the findings of his ‘investigation’, and all the issues that pertain to our opinion of Phillips. Phillips answered each of them in such a way that deflected a majority of the blame back to Jim Barker, and demanded the full sum of his remaining contract (which runs until June 2013, not 2012 as I stated earlier) if they chose to remove him.

Well Clemson is not broke. We’re not rolling in cash but we can afford to fire people. The argument that Clemson kept him in place today because of his contract is a non-starter. The on-field results prove that last statement above is completely false. There is more to it.

Since TDP was hired, here are our ACC Championships:

2010 Women's Track Indoor

2010 Women's Track Outdoor

2009 Women's Rowing

2008 Women's Tennis

2007 Women's Volleyball

2006 Baseball

2004 Women's Tennis

2004 Golf

2004 Men's Track Outdoor

2003 Golf

2002 Men's Track Indoor

Clemson has 18 varsity sports in total.

Phillips pointed out that he preferred to call Tom Bowden’s bluff on the Arkansas opening. He heard from people there (recall he worked in Arkansas' AD under Frank Broyles while Coach Ford was there) that Bowden was not a serious contender for the position, and in fact later on Arkansas’ Board said Bowden was a "lateral move" in public, but by that time the contract idea had already been brought up between TDP and Bowden. James Barker gave him a direct order to re-sign Bowden. At that time, there were already stirrings that Dabo Swinney was a preferred choice someday to get the job, but that would’ve been a hard sell to start the 2008 season.

Ahead to Tom’s firing, and James Barker pushed TDP, who did not need much convincing, to give the position to Swinney over Troy Calhoun (who is now on the short list for the Broncos job, and mentioned as OC for Mike Shanahan). Barker felt that a new coach would "rock the boat" at Clemson, and both expose Barker’s micromanagement of the Department, and request funds that Barker does not want to give back. All it would’ve taken is a good season and a new coach would have the clout with the fan base to demand things like the training table, new & more S&C staff, support positions, and the indoor facility. A new AD would do likewise, and would definitely complain about the $2.7 million that Barker took from the CUAD funds last year, or the millions he’s taken in the last decade. Barker doesn’t want that to happen. TDP will play along, collect his check, and do nothing.

All in all, after this Board meeting Friday, Barker looked a bit dumb to the Board and TDP looked good enough that they chose to let him keep his position. It seems that Barker didn’t fire him, but warned him that he would likely be fired, and TDP (who is a lawyer by training) masterfully argued around every point made in the presentation. Hence the P&C's article Friday afternoon saying that TDP was still the athletic director.

One would think that it would be Barker under heat now, but the BOT will not fire Barker, short of a major scandal. They kiss his ass daily because he’s improved our status through his number crunching and redistribution of funds to get points on the U.S. News criteria. There are not enough athletics-friendly folks on the Board to see what TDP and Barker have done to our programs, and even if they do now look at Barker more than Terry Don, they won't make a change to fix it as long as our academic stature is improving. Now that they officially back the decision to keep Phillips, they are all worthless in my eyes and should all be removed from office. James Barker has authorized the downfall of our athletic programs in pursuit of his Initiative, when other schools are able to simultaneously improve in both athletics and academics.

I’ve been an IPTAY member for 10 years, and will be one no longer. I will not support an athletic program that makes a commitment to mediocrity with my money. I will not donate any money to Clemson from this day forward whatsoever. I will not support or do business with any company that is headed by one of our Board members. If you want to put pressure on them, withholding your cash is the only way to do it, so I urge you to do the same and make your objections known.

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