Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I


by - Senior Writer -
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Phillips said fans need to support the basketball program or run the risk of losing Brad Brownell.

CLEMSON – Clemson University Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips agreed to sit down with TigerNet this week to talk about everything from the state of the program to the football coaches’ salaries to facilities upgrades, and we plan on running a four part series on the conversation with Phillips.

In this first installment, Phillips talks about Clemson basketball coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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, and the conversation quickly shifted to Tuesday night’s home game in Littlejohn Coliseum, a 64-62 loss to the Maryland Terrapins. The loss dropped Clemson to below .500 on the season overall (11-12) and to 3-6 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

The loss was a continuing trend of close losses – the Tigers have nine losses by seven points or less. In five of their six ACC losses this season, the Tigers have lost by a combined total of 13 points, and Tuesday night’s game was the third time this season Clemson has lost to a conference opponent by two points.

Phillips said his big takeaway from the contest, however, was the lack of fan support at the game. The upper sections of Littlejohn Coliseum were almost empty, and the student sections were also bare.

“I will tell you this, last night I was really disappointed in the crowd,” Phillips told TigerNet. “First of all, I have been blessed to be around great basketball – national championship basketball – and we have as good of a staff as I have ever been around. It wears on you when you lose so many close games and I recognize that. But I really would wish that some of our people would just wake up and appreciate the good things.

“Yeah, we all want to win every game. And yeah, we have all these close losses and we didn’t win every game. But you have to understand that the kids are playing hard and the coaches are coaching hard, and it is a great coaching staff. It would be nice if our people would get into a mindset where we have better support than I saw last night.”

Phillips said the athletic department is fully invested in making sure the basketball facilities are on a level with other programs. However, the basketball program still has to provide much of its own revenue as well as help support other non-revenue sports within the athletic department.

Phillips said that may sound “mercenary” but is a necessity in the current landscape of college athletics.

“Quite frankly, we need to push the envelope in basketball,” he said. “The way we have things constructed - from a revenue perspective – we are leaving a lot of money on the table. I understand that we have to perform, but even when we perform we are not maximizing our potential. Yes, I understand it [Tuesday night’s game] was on television.

“But it was at Clemson, and that ought to mean something. Basketball is way too important to treat it as a stepchild. We have to do something here. It is easy to be a great fan when things are going great. Some people just have a real difficult time with adversity. You are going to go through adversity. How do you deal with it and how do you work through it defines what you become.”

Phillips said negativity makes it easy for good coaches to leave.

“I think it has happened here, where Clemson has lost some good coaches,” he said. “It makes it easier for them to leave if all they are hearing is the negative. The coaches understand that the kids are playing hard, but if all they hear are the negative things, then when the opportunity arises, that makes it easy for them to leave.”

He cited former hoops coach Oliver Purnell as an example.

“I will use Oliver, even though Oliver and I really haven’t sat down and talked about this,” he said. “But Oliver got us to thinking we can play with the big boys. We went to three straight NCAA Tournaments. Here we are celebrating our 100th anniversary in basketball, and that was only the second time a Clemson team has accomplished that. Now, we got beat by three really good teams in the first round. But all we heard when we got back from Buffalo when Missouri beat us was that we had lost three straight, and how bad it was and how awful we must really be. And that wears on a coach and it makes it easy on a coach to leave.”


He said that is a situation that he does not want to see happen with Brownell.

“I go back to what I said earlier, that this is as good of a staff as I have ever been around, and they will have an outstanding program,” he said. “But if all they hear is negative and they look up in the stands and they are not seeing people supporting their team it makes it hard. And there will be someone who will one day come and try and hire Brad Brownell. And we need to make it hard for him to leave…make it hard on his heart. That is why I look at that crowd and it was disappointing. I think a lot of people out there are very positive, but they don’t write in or call in or say anything.”


Part two of a Conversation with Terry Don Phillips will be posted tomorrow

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Subject (Replies: 73) Author
Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
Crump®
I hope people are paying attention to this...
tplemin
He was absolutely right about the crowd last night
BigCUFan®
Re: He was absolutely right about the crowd last night
armsb
Re: He was absolutely right about the crowd last night
tigerarcher63
Puzzling to me as well
nkickha
Acc Competition not helping
pshuey21
Re: Acc Competition not helping
91grad
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
Lovefootball
I was a student from 73 to 77
crookedcreek
Re: I was a student from 73 to 77- I agree
74TIGER
Re: I was a student from 73 to 77- I agree
crookedcreek
Clemson no longer focused on the in state kids who...
kbtiger®
clemson is how much larger now than then? aren't there more
deadsolidperfect®
Re: clemson is how much larger now than then? aren't there more
ptong®
so there's probably more instate students now than there
deadsolidperfect®
Exactly. AND I was an out-of-state student from '74-'78
David78®
Re: Exactly. AND I was an out-of-state student from '74-'78
ptong®
It's not uncommon to see kids on campus in duke
OhEightLee
Re: It's not uncommon to see kids on campus in duke
tigersnake1954®
Re: It's not uncommon to see kids on campus in duke
CUalum79ALLn65®
Re: Clemson no longer focused on the in state kids who...
Brad W
Re: I was a student from 73 to 77
CUalum79ALLn65®
Re: I was a student from 73 to 77
PenthouseTiger
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
randy nelson
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I***
randy nelson
Re: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I- Amen
74TIGER
Re: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I- Amen
jjlove98
well that isnt happening
74TIGER
Re: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I- Amen
deroberts
Big Problem: We are a Football School...Not a BB School
CU_Tigers4life®
Considering tickets to home BB games comes along with
David78®
WVU disagrees. Dabo's 0-5 vs non-cons finishing in AP Top 25***
Razzmatazz
Mickey needs to read this interview...
RidgeTig®
Remember...sports is "ENTERTAINMENT" & success matters......
lightbulbbill®
Clemson anything is MORE than entertainment for me.***
Completely Solid Orange®
Really
jif91
Re: Really
armsb
TDP
TIGERROCKER
That's why you quit getting football tickets?***
tiggerz04®
Re: TDP
armsb
First thing he needs to do is get the students involved...
cutiger250®
Using your marketing class well cutiger250***
tiger chuck
It ain't rocket science... and I sure as heck
nkickha
Re: First thing he needs to do is get the students involved...
armsb
Student Online Lottery Needs To Go
ptong®
^^THIS^^
Greercat
Re: ^^THIS^^
ptong®
Agree, and when they do go, they don't go early - in fact
Greercat
Can't tell you how glad I am that...
nkickha
Camping out was half the fun
IPTAY FAMILY
Maybe he should leave too
youngblood®
Is ignorance bliss?***
tiggerz04®
TDP looks like he is measuring fish...
71PR
No, measuring his progress since arriving at Clemson***
Cdixon11
$5 Footlong***
tiggerz04®
Remember, our basketball team's struggles are your fault
Cdixon11
It is partially the fans fault. Recruits don't want to go..
goclemsontigs
Then don't have the football recuits leave at halftime
IPTAY FAMILY
The crowd did suck, but to tell the fans to "wake up" is
TigaP
They can put people in the stands
clemson_alum®
Right on TDP. Some of the people here who complain about
WolfMan2
notice this post has no TUs***
nkickha
Do they still have Central Spirit committee at Clemson?***
crookedcreek
Re: Do they still have Central Spirit committee at Clemson?***
ptong®
Bottom line... If you love Clemson, support the team no
scgradcutigersfan
If you build it, they will come...
wyletigr
Just like in football the students are jerked around. In old
mjm
Exactly. Make it fun for the students to come
nkickha
Haven't we had 20+ wins for the last 4 years?***
goclemsontigs
Yep, and almost all the home games were sellouts.***
nkickha
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
Tigerbandit
TDP is right on about this one***
SolidOrange007
Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
CidTiger

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