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Recruiting and TV

Clemson's football coaches are all on the road visiting recruits this week, as we're in the NCAA contact period from now until Christmas holidays. The staff was not on the road at all last week, and focused their attention on the ACCCG.....which paid off wonderfully. I don't follow recruiting too heavily until this time of year because you shouldn't get worked up over what a 17/18 yr old kid does, but its newsworthy and important now so we'll give weekly roundups at a minimum.

November 25-February 2, 2008, with the exceptions noted below. Six in-person off-campus contacts per prospective student-athlete shall be permitted during this time period with not more than one permitted in any one calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) or partial calendar week: Contact period.
• December 16: Quiet period.

• December 17-January 3, 2008: Dead period. Institutional staff members may have contact with a prospective student-athlete who has been admitted for mid-year enrollment, provided the prospect has signed a National Letter of Intent or other offer of admission and/or financial aid to attend the institution and is required to be on campus to attend institutional orientation sessions for all students.
• January 4-6, 2008: Quiet period.
• January 7-10, 2008: Dead period.
• January 11-12, 2008: Quiet period.

  • I wont go into all the details on every recruit yet, but we stand at 18 now and look for 22-25 total signees, depending on grades. Expect at least one RB, OT, DT and LB to be taken. Remember JK Jay had another back surgery, and Cloy will be out for Spring ball as well.
  • WR Ted Meline of Miami, FL, a Tennessee Commit, is interested in visiting Clemson. "I'm about 90 percent with Tennessee," said Meline. "I want to take some more visits to make sure." Meline wants to visit North Carolina and Georgia as well. I don't see us getting him, but a visit gives you a shot.
  • OL Morgan Moses (4-star) of Fork Union is a Clemson prospect, and visited SC this weekend. He's recruited by Powell and Scott to my knowledge. Don't expect that one.
  • CU commit Darius Robinson allegedly scheduled a visit with Auburn, but has backed off it. "I'm still 100% committed to Clemson and feel like I will remain a Clemson Tiger," Robinson said. "At the end of the day, I'll be signing the papers to be a Clemson Tiger." Robinson missed the first three games of the season with a sprained ankle. He finished the year with 60 tackles and 2 interceptions in 8 games. He visits here on Jan. 8. (15th is the banquet) I suspect he'll take the visit to Auburn, and he says he will not disqualify them just for being a late offer.
  • Clemson is angling for a visit from RB James White from Ft. Lauderdale FL, it'll be his 5th visit. He has visited Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State and NC State. Wisconsin leads.
  • Clemson coaches should visit SC commit OL Eric Mack soon, but don't expect any change from him in our favor, not from Calhoun County.
  • Kenneth Page transferred to Coastal Carolina.
  • Georgia put a run on Clemson commits Corey Crawford (DE 3 star) and OL David Beasley late in the game, trying to repair their earlier behavior that had them banned from Carver high school for pulling an offer to a player at the last minute (which you dont do in-state, ever). Georgia sent Coach Jon Fabris into Crawford's classroom during class and had him present the offer letter in person on his birthday. Then they went and fired Fabris with Martinez, and Crawford's coach said this: "Coach Fabris was with Crawford all day Tuesday. He watched his basketball game. He met with him after the game. He met with his grandparents. And the Georgia fired him. Corey said coach, Georgia fired me, too." Crawford says he loves coach Steele and might visit Florida and FSU.
  • Clemson coaches are all over OT Max Garcia (3-star, 64 nationally), trying to get him from Maryland and Vandy. 3 of them were in-home this week. Garcia would likely be here if Clemson had a broadcast journalism major. To paraphrase his quote, he said he is torn between Clemson and MD and thought he'd have a decision by now. Apparently we are turning him a little.
  • Dan Brooks and Steele were in-home with Justin Parker this week, and he's had in-homes with LSU already and Spurlid Jr. will be in today, with Paul Johnson wednesday. Steele told him, rightly, that he could play as a true freshman. His order is SC, close 2nd is Clemson, LSU, GT, and Tennessee.
  • OFFICIALS FOR 12/11: OT Laurence Gibson (3-star, Hargrave, #33 prep prospect) will be in this weekend on an official visit, VT leads after his official visit last weekend. Clemson runs 2nd, BC 3rd. He's taken an unofficial to Auburn. He plans to enroll in january somewhere. His teammate, DT Josh Watson (3-star) will join him and he also plans to enroll in Jan. He took an official to Duke and loved it, and will visit UNC next week. Both are Pearman recruits.
  • Steele is pushing for DT Kyle Woestmann (3-star), a Vandy commit since the summer, to set up an official. He has us tied with SC at #2 and plans to visit UNC as well. He said he loved the atmosphere at both Clemson and Carolina (Clemson-SC game).
  • The biggest DL prospect left on the board is Ethan Farmer (#11 DT), who still has UNC in the lead narrowly. Dan Brooks is after him hard. He's looking to set up officials at UNC, CU, Bama, Tennessee, Auburn, Duke, and NC State (he can only take 5 of those). Right now he's going to visit NC and CU definitely.
  • Need a LB? Toquavious Gilchrist is a 4-star Juco player (but they usually all are rated too high in JUCO), but Clemson wont go after the Abbeville native. He's looking at K-State, Ole Miss, and Houston. (Miss has not offered) Why the hell aren't we offering? The CU admissions office is why. People don't get serious enough about football.
  • With Dabo's contract up for a big payraise soon, he will have the option of creating new positions for full-time support staffers from his salary. Its in his contract. Last year he got some, but got part-time or inadequate support on others. Now, he has the clout and the money to insist on the positions. Expect some new hires around the AD. I know he wanted Clyde Wrenn (recruiter and manager for Danny Ford, among others) and a new training table that he didnt get.
  • This bleacher report article indicates that Fox is pushing for negotiations to the ACC TV contract when it expires in 2010-2011 (h/t tomahawk nation). The best bet is for the ACC to package basketball in with the deal, and leverage more money, but I think the weak ACC will need to pair up with another conference to pull a Fox contract. To go with this, i'll include an article sent to me earlier this year from an insider news outlet in NC:

18 September 2009


GREENSBORO - When the University of Miami and Florida State University
squared off over the Labor Day holiday, they delivered an exciting college
football game that evoked the rivalry's glory days of the 1980s and 1990s.

The Hurricanes came away with a 38-34 victory, but the team wasn't the only
one that got a big win.

The game, which was televised on ESPN, drew 8.4 million viewers and was the
second-most viewed regular-season college football game in the network's

It's the kind of star performance the Atlantic Coast Conference would like
to see more of this year as the conference delves headlong into television
rights negotiations that will play a big part in determining the future
financial prosperity of the league and its 12 members.

But that same Labor Day weekend, North Carolina State lost to the University
of South Carolina, Duke lost to Richmond, Virginia Tech lost to Alabama and
Virginia lost to William & Mary - losses that could wreak financial havoc on
the league's broadcast rights talks.

"It's kind of like a contract year for an athlete," says Michael Smith, who
covers the industry for Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal, a sister
publication of Triangle Business Journal.

The ACC's television rights are divided into two contracts: A seven-year,
$258 million deal for football with ABC/ESPN and a 10-year, $300 million
men's basketball deal with Raycom Sports. Both contracts run through
2010-11, which will give the conference the opportunity to bundle the deals
together if it makes financial sense.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford could not be reached for comment. But he
discussed the situation at a press conference before the start of the
football season, touting recent successes that the league has had in
football and basketball. Those included UNC's national championship in
basketball last season, Virginia Tech's Orange Bowl victory last season and
the fact that the ACC has sent more teams - 34 - to bowl games over the past
four years than any other conference.

But the league also has plenty of thorny issues to deal with in
negotiations. The biggest, of course, is the economy.

Smith says that conferences typically look for 50 percent to 60 percent
increases in revenue when they strike new television deals. The current
economic climate, though, makes it hard to read the financial tea leaves.

"I don't think they know even what to expect," Smith says of the ACC.

There's also performance issues that the ACC must contend with in
negotiations. The league hasn't produced a true national title contender in
football in years, with the arguable exception of Virginia Tech in 2007, and
its marquee teams - FSU and Miami - have underachieved over the past several

The Southeastern Conference, by contrast, showed how much money a powerhouse
football league can make when it signed a 15-year, $2.25 billion football
and basketball rights deal with ESPN in 2008.

ACC basketball has done better than football, thanks to UNC, which has won
two national titles since 2005. But the conference hasn't possessed its
traditional depth, as the Tar Heels are the only league school to make it to
the Final Four during that period.

Would having really good seasons in both sports this year help the
conference in negotiations? Raycom CEO Ken Haines downplays that idea,
pointing out that sports often are cyclical.

"They could be down this year and flying sky high in two years," says

Raycom once again will be trying to secure rights to some games, although
Haines says he expects to try to do it through some kind of partnership.

ESPN also is interested in teaming up with the league again.

"The ACC is a longtime partner of ESPN, and we look forward to having
productive discussions about continuing our relationship long term," says
Mike Humes, an ESPN spokesman. He declined to go into the details of the

Smith points out that the ACC also could try to form its own network, as the
Big Ten has done, or partner with another league - such as the Pac-10 - to
form a network. "They need to somehow create leverage," Smith says. "The
appearance is the ACC doesn't have a lot of leverage."

The ACC generated $162.8 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended June
30, 2008. The audit for the most recently completed fiscal year won't be
complete until October. Jeff Elliott, the ACC's associate commissioner for
finance and administration, expects the conference's revenue to have a
minimal increase for the year ended June 30, 2009.