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Rumors swirl about the imminent firing of Terry Don Phillips

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This must be the worst-kept secret in recent Clemson history.

I do not ever like to be seen as a rumor starter, or to blatantly troll people with false information, thats just something we try not to do here. You can take this article however you wish, so if you prefer to believe otherwise until the major media confirms it all, thats perfectly fine by us.

This is what we have heard from our trusted sources.

  • At some point last Fall, presumably after the Maryland debacle, the Board of Trustees began to take a further interest in the AD, specifically forming a "subcommittee" to evaluate the athletic department. This was in response to numerous personnel situations and complaints about Phillips' leadership. Whether it was specifically a response to the Trevor Adair situation, Tony Eubanks, or just the perceived decline of Clemson's programs, I do not know. To my knowledge, Bill Smith is one of the members of the committee, but I do not know who else is.
  • Fast forward to this Fall, where we have known that Barker began an interview process with the employees of the CUAD about TDP's leadership. That was completed before Thanksgiving. Concurrently, in response to your complaints to the Board members, they have conducted their own investigation into TDP's leadership. The two sides met and discussed it, but I do not know if it was an "official" Board meeting, as those are supposed to be recorded in the public record by my understanding. The BOT told Barker that Phillips be terminated "with cause". Bill Smith and Chairman David Wilkins are said to be leading proponents of his removal.
  • Technically the Board can overstep Barker and fire TDP directly, but Barker knew Phillips' time was up and agreed to it.
  • "With cause" is the key part here, because it would conceivably let CU out of paying Phillips the remainder of his contract, that runs into 2012, which is in the ballpark of a million bucks. I do not know what affect it has on his annuity/retirement package, but he is fully vested as of 2 years ago. He could've retired if he wanted to, which is why I did not expect him to be here through the football season in the first place.
  • The "Cause" part has to do with several situations with personnel employed by CUAD that the BOT thinks he has grossly mishandled. Obviously they are some that I mentioned in the earlier article asking for his firing.
  • TDP did retain legal counsel, either just before Thanksgiving or by Monday. It is my understanding that he knew it was coming, and knows they want to reneg the remainder of his owed contract, so obviously he's fighting with them over cash. You would too for a million bucks. I don't see any way he stays on at Clemson, because nobody would really want to stay if theyre not wanted. This is all about his contract, so they'll offer and counteroffer until he accepts one, or go to court over it.
  • TDP met with Barker Tuesday, where he was told to resign. He refused the package they offered him to do so, and Barker told him he was fired.
  • Bill D'Andrea is the interim AD and has the day-to-day operation, but that was already the case beforehand. TDP will not be kicked out of his office til everything is solved.
  • Swinney and TDP had been pushing for a new contract for recruiting purposes, which is now off the table. The BOT would have to approve such a deal, and I don't see any way they would do so.

The reason why no official word is out is because there is no official word, Clemson is not going to announce his "resignation" until the financial deal is done. That would technically open them up to a can of legal worms they don't want, and they prefer to keep it quiet and in-house til that time. You wouldn't want the negative PR from airing dirty laundry in public.

The voting split on the Board is the one thing that I want to know that I have heard zilch about.

We are not going to speculate on the next AD or write our criteria for the next one until we hear the resignation is public, I think that would be premature.

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