Clemson's disastrous 2014 season ended today in the Nashville Regional by virtue of a losses to Oregon 18-1 and Xavier this afternoon. A team that carries enough talent to win the ACC, to host a Regional and a Super, and make it to Omaha ended up barely making it into the NCAA Tournament and got their asses waxed in Nashville without ever having played the #1 seed in the regional.
When I was a student at Clemson a decade ago, our program was elite. Jack, Tim Corbin, and Pawlowski and O'Sullivan had those teams full of talent at the plate and on the mound. Our measuring stick became Omaha, and though we never won it, we managed to win 45+ games a year and host regionals every year. That measuring stick is still there, and since 2006 the dropoff in talent and coaching has been remarkable. These great assistants were replaced by Tom Riginos, who was a fine hitting coach but destroyed our recruiting when O'Sullivan left, and Kyle Bunn, who TDP and Katie Hill pennypinched into leaving for Alabama. Further frugality by TDP urged Jack into hiring Dan Pepicelli, who has one good year in his time here, and this season managed to take a talented staff and run it right into the ditch. However, these replacements were Jack's decision, and the product on the field is his own responsibility.
We have stated here many times that Clemson's Olympic Sports, headed up by former football player Kyle Young, had nearly all tanked under TDP partly because he refused to spend any money. Katie Hill would not let Jack spend money on things he needed, like extra baseballs or radar gun equipment. Clemson's tuition increases have made out-of-state recruiting difficult with the 11.7 scholarship limit. Clemson was not (until now) a member of Academic Common Market, which would've let them give more tuition assistance and help recruiting, which Jack needs badly because he's managed to burn most bridges within SC by being a jerk to local coaches.
His bridge burning parade in the 2000s is what allowed Ray Tanner and his group of assistants to lock down the in-state talent and win 2 CWS while Jack would rather go to Maine and get their players instead of homegrown, emotionally invested, talent. Talent that might not take on the tight-as-a-drum persona of their head coach in key situations, or piss away game after game to South Carolina every season.
You can be a total dick when you're winning 50 games a year, but being one now that you can't teach a Shortstop how to field a baseball hit right at him and can't beat SC doesn't get you any sympathy in my book. In the last 5 years we have become abysmal in the field, and our official scorer gives us the benefit of the doubt more often than I would. Many routine plays just don't get scored as errors or we'd be at the bottom of the NCAA.
Jack is not out there making the plays, but the man is the fielding coach and always has been. He's not throwing pitches down the middle. He's not the one holding the bat on his shoulders with 2 strikes and 2 men on base. But he is the HC, and who else is responsible for the preparation of the players? He is responsible for the product on the field and since 2006 it has been mediocre. This year's team didn't even appear to care. I think he lost them before the season, not after SC.
Now, we don't go into series against weak competition expecting a sweep. The league is better than what Wilhelm faced, yes, but we don't sweep through the ACC's middling teams anymore either. Mike Martin has had a couple rough years at FSU since they've joined, usually when he's picked a bad assistant, but he's managed to keep them at a high level. Jack has not. We don't expect to crush midweek opponents either. Now we just seem to hope we can win the series and hope that opponents like Liberty don't force us into some fielding errors that give the game away to them, because God knows our offense isn't going to put up 15 runs on Liberty/Elon/Winthrop anymore.
Leggett has two years left on his contract that pays him $400,000 per year in base and supplemental salary (before incentives). Firing Leggett immediately after the 2014 season would cost Clemson a buyout of roughly $416,666, essentially costing the athletic department one year's salary to usher in Clemson's third head coach since 1957.
I'd fire him as soon as the plane lands at GSP tonight. Let him resign and save face and name the locker room addition after him if you want, but he cannot be allowed to continue running this program into the ground year after year.