Phillips confirms Georgia series with Clemson in 2013 and 2014

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The home-and-home football series with the University of Georgia scheduled for 2013 (at Clemson) and 2014 (at Georgia) is a go, Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips confirmed Friday afternoon.

The series has been in doubt recently after the Atlantic Coast Conference decided to move to a nine-game conference schedule with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The extra conference game would mean the Tigers would have to drop one out-of-conference opponent, and keeping the series with Georgia would mean that Clemson would have to drop from seven homes to six in 2014.

Not a problem, according to Phillips, who confirmed the series to TigerNet following the groundbreaking ceremonies for the indoor practice facility.

“Bottom line is this- we are going to play Georgia,” Phillips told TigerNet. "I can’t tell you how we are going to put all of the pieces together, but we are going to play Georgia in 2013 here and in 2014 we are going to Athens. We’re committed to the Georgia series. It has presented some very significant challenges for us because of the seven-game, six- game configuration on the home schedule.

“Coach Swinney definitely wants to play that series. I want to play it because the people would call in and say, ‘hey, there’s a reason we scheduled Georgia’. Our people want to see Georgia. It’s a great addition to our schedule and so we had a great conversation with Georgia. We are committed to playing that series. We’ve got some challenges associated with it, but we are going to play that series.”

Phillips said the administration has taken a look at financial constraints that six home games would bring, but thinks they have put together a budget that would allow the series to happen.

“[Dropping from seven home games to six home games] is the challenge because you build your budget around seven home games, but we’ve put together the figures and we think that we can make it happen. We are committed to making it happen,” he said. “And we will play the return game at Georgia in 2014. They [Georgia] want to play the series as well, but to be fair to them they needed to have assurance that we were going to play that or they needed to start looking.

“It was a good conversation and we assured them that we are going to play. Kyle Young who works on our schedule, Katie [Hill] works with our finances and myself- we ran the numbers and said, ‘okay, how can we run the numbers and play this series because it’s important to our people?’ That’s the direction we’re headed and that’s where we are.”

Phillips said the conversations started after the ACC announced the new schedule format.

“We talked to them after the decision by the conference and certainly we understand that decision, but we started having conversations about it,” he said. “I’ve been busy with [Georgia AD] Greg McGarity about it.”

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