And now we start to find out just what kind of Athletic Director Dan Radakovich chooses to be. Will he shake things up in the department, demanding better performance throughout the sports, or is he just about spending other peoples money and giving ridiculous buyouts?
Apparently he has chosen the latter. Clemson announced that Jack Leggett and his entire staff will return to the dugout next season.
Being owned by UVA, UNC, SC and FSU in baseball for the last 5-6 seasons, to go along with a grand total of 2 ACC titles in 21 seasons as head coach is enough to let you keep your job despite the glaringly obvious downturn of the entire baseball program since 2006.
Be prepared for another 15-20 error season from one of our middle infielders, numerous gaffes scored as hits by our generous official scorer, a team that can't hit when there are RISP or simply won't move the bat off their shoulders with 2 strikes, and generally playing like hot garbage because they are as tightly wound as their manager.
Radakovich could've chosen to immediately fix a glaring problem and instead will sit on it and do nothing while a once proud program continues to tank. It makes no sense to do tomorrow what you know you need to do today, and he apparently thinks its all OK with Clemson baseball. With the pall over the program now, next season will be nothing short of a disaster. Not hosting Regionals, not winning Championships of any kind, and being surpassed by Coastal Carolina and CofC is apparently good in Dan's estimation. Being eliminated by UConn, Xavier, and Oregon must be good as well.
If he thinks that and you feel the same as I do, then I urge you to not donate any funding directly to Clemson baseball. That is the only way to make your displeasure with this decision known. I don't feel like helping pay Jack Leggett $400K a year to turn a Lambo into a Fiero, and won't be donating anything further, nor will I attend any Clemson baseball games at Tiger Field.
Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics:
Over the past week, I had several productive conversations with Coach Leggett as we completed a season-ending evaluation of the program. Prior to the meeting, I sought input from a variety of sources, both within our program and from the outside. The evaluation showed reasons for optimism moving forward, and we look forward to the 2015 season under the leadership of Coach Leggett.
One of the factors for a positive outlook for the program is the culture that Coach Leggett has created for his players. While every program not achieving its desired results has questions, I firmly believe following the research done, that the culture in the baseball program is solid.
This past season's results were not to Clemson's standards, and Coach and I are working together to improve many areas of the program, some which will be visible and others behind the scenes. Making adjustments within the baseball program, including the university's participation in the Academic Common Market and investing in facility upgrades, will serve us well into the future. We have talented and committed student-athletes in our program, and we must do whatever is necessary to create opportunities for on-field success for these young men.
Our fans care deeply about Clemson baseball and show their support every game. I have heard from many supporters during the past season, and we will continue to strive to provide a first-class experience and championship-caliber baseball program worthy of their enthusiasm. The expectation to compete for championships on an annual basis, host NCAA Regionals and advance deep in the postseason is not changing. We will make some improvements, refocus on the goals ahead and set our sights on an outstanding 2015 season.
Jack Leggett, Head Baseball Coach
I truly appreciate the support and passion of our baseball community and we all want to win at the highest level, especially the coaches and players in the program. We did not have the kind of year that I had hoped for and it is my responsibility to lead us back to the standards we have set for Clemson Baseball.
Clemson is a truly special place. Working together with our passionate fans, all pulling in the same direction, I have no doubt we can return quickly to the success we have become accustomed to at Clemson. I am excited about the future, and look forward to working with Dan on improvements and adjustments to get us back to the level we all expect.
Update: Dan Radakovich conducted a presser to discuss the baseball program.
"I've gotten plenty of correspondence to understand there's a level of unrest. I'm also very cognizant of the fact that keeping Jack here is not satisfying all of those people. But the goal of this exercise was not to satisfy a segment of people. The goal of the exercise was to look into our baseball program with a little bit of a microscope and say, 'How can we make it better?' Because if we make it better, then everybody is happy. That's really what we needed to do.
"Had Jack walked in here and been totally obstinate and not receptive and things of that nature, maybe there would have been a difference. I never expected that, and we didn't get that. So the idea of being able to move the program forward under his leadership really was crystallized. I had a good feeling that was going to happen, and when we met it was solidified."
On Jack's contract
"All of our discussions were programmatic. And Jack does have two years left on his contract. It's not like he's down to his final season to play next year and then a decision needs to be made. We're looking at this as, 'How do we help make this move forward?' Jack Leggett is our baseball coach, whether he has five years or two years. If people are going to negative recruit, they negative recruit at five years or two years or whatever."
Nice punt there DRad. Whats even better are their solutions to fix the program:
1. Hire team psychologists to help the team relax. - I can't help but laugh. You'd need a team of surgeons to pull the corncob out of Leggett's ass.
2. Get Jack Leggett and his staff visit with successful staffs to exchange ideas. - But Jack already thinks he knows everything, you can't question him about baseball, so how well is this one going to work?
3) Formalize player-coach interaction and conversation by forming a council that features representation from each class and meets at a minimum of once a week. - Really? Just that this is brought up indicates that the coaches and players have a very strained relationship, which we've been saying for years.
4) Do more as an athletics department to help improve Leggett's image among the fan base. This includes doing a better job of sending positive messages in interviews, and making more effort to put him in front of boosters at various events like Prowl Growl. Radakovich believes people have the wrong perception of Leggett as "the snarly-faced No. 7 that sits in the dugout all the time." He thinks Jack is actually quite affable, and Clemson needs to do a better job of portraying that to the fans. - I'm sorry but this is the funniest of all. No amount of PR can turn a guy who is a total dick to people into a Danny Ford.
You want to improve your image? How about you start winning titles and start beating SC and all the in-state teams that kick our ass? That is the ONLY WAY YOU CAN FIX THIS PROBLEM.
Clemson just fed us a line of bullshit. This is lipstick on a pig.