As the academic calendar nears the midpoint of the spring semester and (hopefully) the winter weather has passed, I wanted to give you an update on several ongoing items from the athletic department.
First, congratulations are in order for coach Mark Elliott and the women’s track and field team which won the 2015 ACC Indoor Championship. Mark has done a remarkable job in quickly rebuilding the track program over the course of less than two years, and while the women won its fifth title in the last six years, only two points scorers from the 2013 team remained on the 2015 squad. Junior Mimi Land was named MVP Field Athlete, and the women head to the NCAA Championships this weekend. The women join the men’s soccer program with ACC titles this year, and we’re looking forward to adding more this spring!
Last week was another reminder of what great student-athletes we have at Clemson as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a town hall meeting. I look forward to the question-and-answer session every time we have the opportunity, and the well thought out concerns and questions presented by young men and women, not only looking out for their particular sports but also their fellow student-athletes, are great reminders of the responsibilities we have as an athletic department staff to provide them with the best possible experience. The range of questions involved facilities, meals and cost of attendance, and I hope the participants got as much out of the event as I did.
On cost of attendance, which the new NCAA governance structure has allowed a scholarship to cover, Clemson is in a good position to provide the added benefit to student-athletes. The university’s 2014-15 cost of attendance gap for miscellaneous expenses was $3608 per student, as determined by the university’s office of student financial aid. We have estimated the new benefit for student-athletes to cost around $925,000 next year, a number we’re well prepared to provide through the tremendous support of our loyal IPTAY donors. As you know, all of our student-athlete benefit expenses (tuition, room, meals, Vickery Hall expenses, etc.) are covered by donations to IPTAY.
Also last week, the athletic ticket office began taking orders from IPTAY donors for 2015 football season tickets through ClemsonTigers.com. We have a great home schedule this fall, with seven games including Notre Dame, Florida State and Georgia Tech. Prices for this season’s tickets are $340, a 14% discount off the face value of tickets and the price available to non-IPTAY members. IPTAY donors have a priority deadline of May 5 to order season tickets at the discounted rate and have an opportunity to pay over three installments prior to that deadline. Any remaining season tickets will be made available to the general public on June 9 at the full cost of $395. Based on availability, single game home and away tickets will go on sale to IPTAY donors on June 17.
We continue to make progress on the facilities front, as construction continues at Memorial Stadium on the bridge/oculus project and the renovations of the suites and South Club areas. If you’ve been to baseball early this season, you’ve seen the steady rise of the new player facility along the first base line. All of these ongoing projects continue to track on schedule.
Additionally, I’m appreciative of the Board of Trustees for their final approval of the renovation to Littlejohn Coliseum. We continue to work through the state approval process in advance of a planned beginning of the project following May graduation. At last month’s meeting, the Board also granted initial approval to the new football facility, an all-encompassing home for our football program near the indoor practice facility. We’re excited to continue the planning process of that project and will keep you up-to-date as we work through the design phases.
We welcome a new member of our Clemson Family in coach Hugh Hernesman as he takes over our volleyball program. Hugh and his wife Stephanie did a remarkable job at Northwestern (La.) State, and I know he’ll do a wonderful job here. His passion, excitement and care for student-athletes and their development will make him a great fit in our athletic department and community.
Finally, I want to congratulate our student-athletes, coaches and staff for an outstanding grade point average of 3.02 during the fall semester. More than 55 percent of student-athletes achieved over a 3.0, up seven percent from the previous fall semester. Additionally, 52 student-athletes finished the term with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The classroom success is a testament to not only the hard work of our students, but also the emphasis put forth by our coaches and staff. As an IPTAY donor, your support allows us to provide the very best in Vickery Hall as we continue to develop young men and women and prepare them both on the field and in the classroom.
Come see us as our baseball and tennis teams will be hosting several home events during the month of March, and remember for updates on all our sports teams in action visit ClemsonTigers.com and follow @ClemsonTigers.
Thank you, and Go Tigers!
December 14, 2018