|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:16 AM||
Things are usually pretty good around here but they could be really good in the near future.
I would imagine many of the readers of this blog feel about Clemson similar to the way I do. Many of us love this place and could never repay it for what it has given us.
Sometimes I think we overlook some issues because we want to believe this is the perfect place run by the perfect people. Sometimes I catch a hard time by some when I point out that it isn't always perfect.
In the past 20 years we have often times struggled with our identity and dragged our feet. I feel we lost our way several times. We lost a sense of who we are and why we are here.
But the last couple of years have set us up for what appears to me to be a pretty good run. I think there are a lot of people in place and a lot of factors lining up that things could get really good around here.
I am hearing that a new basketball arena may be announced soon. I am not totally sure of what is right in this case but a new arena would give us a fighting chance in what will be the best basketball league in the country. It would also give fans something to really look forward to when it comes to basketball. That would be an exciting process to follow.
The baseball program looks like it is headed in the right direction. I am not a fan of what they are doing with home plate but the new players area looks like it will help us. I have a feeling Clemson baseball is close to returning to where we all expect it to be.
I have hope in some of our olympic sports. Golf has signed some great players in the next class. Women's golf could be a national title contender very early in the program development. Both soccer programs are excited about their progress. Tennis and volleyball feel good about their programs. Hopefully our track programs will come out of the mess from this past spring.
But lets not kid ourselves. This is a football school and football is what we all care about.
Football appears to be on the brink of greatness. The facilities are in place and more are planned. The indoor practice facility is perhaps the finest in the country. There is discussion about building new football offices by the practice fields and moving the rest of the athletic department into the West Endzone. I am not sure why or if this will happen but that has been discussed.
The staff is in place and the budget is there to insure good coaches are attracted here if any staff member leaves. The support staff is growing and is a big part of the plans.
The head coach has a vision for what he wants and is able to sell that vision.
The board of trustees seem to be on board and understand the importance of football success. I don't know who the next president will be but my guess is that he or she will get that message in the interview process.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is about to get better. Louisville will improve the football side of the league and Notre Dame will add excitement. Hopefully we will see the Irish become a full member of the league soon.
Clemson's brand is growing and the athletic department is modernizing.
The demand for Clemson on television is growing. ESPN Gameday is coming for the second time and my guess is they will be back more in the future.
Heisman lists, All-American lists, watch lists are full of Clemson players.
Recruiting is very good as many of the nation's top players are becoming more attractive to the Clemson brand.
The offense has an identity. Players know what Clemson football is about.
In so many aspects, this football program and athletic department has some tremendous opportunities ahead of it. Winning and money create tons of opportunities. There are a lot of doors that are being opened for these programs in the very near future. Are we ready to walk through those doors? If not, are we ready to respond and create more opportunities if things don't go our way in the immediate future? Do we have the leadership to react and create more opportunities in the long run?
I am hopeful we will walk through those doors beginning next Saturday night. I am also hopeful that we have the leaders in place for more doors as I look at the big picture and big opportunities in our future.
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