Let me begin by congratulating Brad Brownell and his team for an outstanding run to the NIT semifinals. Brad’s team battled through adversity throughout the season and capped a great March with a trip to Madison Square Garden. While the outcome of our semifinal game wasn’t what we desired, there’s no shortage of positives to take away from both the team’s and fans’ performances during the run. From a great first-round crowd during spring break to remarkable capacity crowds on Sunday morning and Tuesday night, the fan support was amazing and much appreciated by our student athletes!
While basketball dominated the headlines in March, several Tiger sports enjoyed regular-season successes. Men’s and women’s tennis are off to great starts in ACC play, men’s and women’s golf started their spring seasons with great outings and baseball is ranked 12th in the initial official NCAA RPI rankings.
Next week, Coach Swinney and the football team hold their annual spring game. The April 12 game kicks off at 4 p.m., and is going to be nationally televised. We speak often about the experience of fall Saturdays in Death Valley, and this game is a tremendous opportunity to have a pre-season version of those great occasions. Dabo has called it “an eighth home game” and I couldn’t agree more. With free admission and open parking, we welcome all to campus and hope to provide the gameday experience to some who may not have the opportunity to join us in the fall.
Away from the courts and fields, we’ve continued work on several facilities projects. Following the spring game, the locker room and recruiting area in the WestZone will receive a full update, while the Doug Kingsmore Stadium addition begins in earnest immediately following the season. We’ve begun the selection process for an architect for the rebuilt basketball arena and are pressing forward with several other projects. It’s an exciting time, as we continue to provide first-class facilities for each of our student-athletes.
Much has been written recently about the changing landscape of collegiate athletics. President Clements and I speak often about the future of both Clemson and college athletics as a whole, and we are united in our views of how the amateur model should look and college sports should fit into the framework of the university. The NCAA is working on governance changes to address some of these very topics, grouping like-minded schools into categories which more-clearly apply to the real world situations they face. While the Northwestern case does not immediately impact our state or school, we have and will continue to monitor this potentially transformative case and all others which could have an impact.
Thank you for your continued support of Clemson athletics.
April 22, 2021