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School's Out for Summer -- Sunday Thoughts


The kids are done for the year which means we are entering the dreaded dark period where there are no collegiate sports going on until fall semester.  This means we'll be searching for items to discuss as we progress through the summer so if you have any ideas for topics and articles you want to see, now is the time to make the request.

The big news stories out of Clemson this week involve the usual for the time of year:  Tiger baseball and Clemson football recruiting.  The former involves the Major League Baseball draft and the Tigers' head baseball coach.  As we all know, Goose was drafted on Day 1 by Oakland.  This pretty much assured what we all thought--he won't be back for another season of Tiger baseball barring some ridiculous low balling by the A's.  Again, none of this is a big surprise.  If you've paid attention to Clemson baseball at all, you'd know that Gossett was the best player on the team and that he would be playing pro ball sooner rather than later.  Best of luck to him as he moves on with his career.  The stunner (for me anyway) is Leggett getting another year to coach this team.  I really thought this would be it for Jack Leggett as there are a whole lot of discontent fans and apathy has taken hold of this once prominent program.  I thought for certain we'd be sitting here debating which coach we'd like to go after.  Instead, DRad chose to wait out JL's last contract year and pray Clemson baseball can improve dramatically year over year.

Speaking of Dan Radakovich, we have now seen him make three major coaching decisions. The first was to lock in Swinney to the tune of seven years and over $27 million.  He then locked in Brownell with a deal that again assured Clemson would have t shell out loads of cash if they wanted to make a change.  Now he takes no action in response to a baseball program that has been steadily declining.  I knew his strengths revolved around fundraising then facility building but really expect more decisiveness out of the AD than what we've seen with these personnel moves.  I understand that TDP wasn't awake long enough to focus on both revenue and non-revenue sports so he chose to ignore many of these areas.  Is DRad so focused on renovating Littlejohn and upgrading various other facilities that he does not utilize the required time, energy, make harder personnel decisions instead of simply handing out extensions and letting contracts ride out.  This is simply speculation on my part but fully understanding the AD's priorities and where he wants to focus are important to understand where these programs end up.

Clemson recruiting follows the trend we've seen over the Swinney era.  Dabo has been able to button up lots of future scholarship around the time of his summer camp period.  This year is no exception.  With this push, it seems likely that the majority of the work for the 2015 class will be done prior to the start of football season.  This leaves Clemson playing defense to keep its commitments throughout the fall.  It also gives Swinney and staff time to work some of the studs to try to add to the '15 class and focus more on the '16 class.  While we'd like to see the staff continue to fight more during the fall for big names for the '15 class, we also understand that polishing off the class early assures a solid class and better odds for a solid class the next year.

Steve Coburn is batshit crazy.  Because his horse lost Saturday, he gets to go on national television and complain that his horse was not the best in the Belmont Stakes.  Winning the Triple Crown involves winning three (3) unique horse races.  It is not a series.  This is like saying a player should not be able to play in the PGA Championship if he doesn't play in the Masters.  Would I like to see more horses run all three races?  Yes.  Should each horse be required to run the previous big stakes race to run this one?  I don't think so.  I understand that three major stakes races in a five week period is taxing on the animal but winning all three is very, very difficult for a reason.  Winning three races like this in a span of five weeks is tough and that is why a horse that captures the Triple Crown becomes legendary.  I would not want to see this system watered down by limiting the Belmont field or by adding more overall duration to the race scheduling.  Making the challenge much more difficult assures that if a horse ever accomplishes the feat it will be well respected due to difficulty associated with the Triple Crown.

NASCAR is in Pocano and the PGA boys prepare for the US Open with the St. Jude Classic in Memphis.  Adverse weather assures that Sunday will be a long one for the leaders.  I rally hope they are able to get the whole tournament in today because many of these players need to get to North Carolina to start preparation.  This sets up what should be an extremely exciting week of golf at Pinehurst in the year's second major championship.