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Current Issues With Dr. Phillips

Current Issues With Dr. Phillips

Oct. 4, 2004

The thing that I appreciate the most from the solid Clemson fans is how they have supported the program during the good times as well as the difficult. If you reflect on our history from 1965 until 1977, Clemson’s overall record was 54 wins, 70 losses and three ties.

However, the remarkable thing that happened during that time was that Clemson began to do things that other schools were not doing: Jervey Athletic Center was built and plans were made to build an upper deck on the South side of Memorial Stadium.

Forward thinking by the Clemson administration placed the football program in a position that set the stage for remarkable success starting in the late 1970s and continuing through the 1980s. Clemson’s support during that difficult 12-year period paved the way for success in the future.

It is that kind of thinking we need to perpetuate, even in today’s time where the thinking is often “win and win quick.”

In the current age of talk radio and the internet, sports programs now must deal with a different landscape. What is written in chat rooms and spoken on radio sometimes serves as a tremendous disservice to Clemson in many areas, particularly in recruiting.

Fortunately, most of our people are not part of that mix when that happens.

Yet, whenever there are some who speculate and conjecture about the demise of a particular coach and coaching staff, it creates an environment of ill will and uncertainty. As such, this perpetuation of doubt in the public domain can serve to break down confidence that high school coaches and prospects must have in our program. In turn, this affects recruiting.

That is why a long-term commitment is absolutely necessary. We must send a clear and unequivocal message to counter this type of environment: Clemson has a stable program and one that will achieve.

Toward that end, the WestZone project is extremely critical to the success of this football program. We need to look at our rich history and take a lesson from the late 1970s. We can’t wait until we’re really good to build the infrastructure that will be the foundation for success. The leaders from that time gave the program a window of opportunity and the program performed. It is a slightly different dynamic now in that we need to catch up. They were getting ahead.

Our competitive challenges are even greater than those in the 70s. In addition to league expansion, the schools in our league have become aggressive with facility improvements during the past ten years. They did what Clemson did back in the mid 70s.

A long-term commitment is critical for Clemson to enjoy long-term success. With the help and loyal support of solid Clemson people, we are creating a winning environment that we all can be proud of.

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