Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I


by - Senior Writer -
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Phillips said fans need to support the basketball program or run the risk of losing Brad Brownell.
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
View Full Profile
, 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

Rate this Story:
20 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 73) Author
spacer Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
Crump®
spacer I hope people are paying attention to this...
tplemin
spacer He was absolutely right about the crowd last night
BigCUFan®
spacer Re: He was absolutely right about the crowd last night
armsb
spacer Re: He was absolutely right about the crowd last night
tigerarcher63
spacer Puzzling to me as well
nkickha
spacer Acc Competition not helping
pshuey21
spacer Re: Acc Competition not helping
91grad
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
Lovefootball
spacer I was a student from 73 to 77
crookedcreek
spacer Re: I was a student from 73 to 77- I agree
74TIGER
spacer Re: I was a student from 73 to 77- I agree
crookedcreek
spacer Clemson no longer focused on the in state kids who...
kbtiger®
spacer clemson is how much larger now than then? aren't there more
deadsolidperfect®
spacer Re: clemson is how much larger now than then? aren't there more
ptong®
spacer so there's probably more instate students now than there
deadsolidperfect®
spacer Exactly. AND I was an out-of-state student from '74-'78
David78®
spacer Re: Exactly. AND I was an out-of-state student from '74-'78
ptong®
spacer It's not uncommon to see kids on campus in duke
OhEightLee
spacer Re: It's not uncommon to see kids on campus in duke
tigersnake1954®
spacer Re: It's not uncommon to see kids on campus in duke
CUalum79ALLn65®
spacer Re: Clemson no longer focused on the in state kids who...
Brad W
spacer Re: I was a student from 73 to 77
CUalum79ALLn65®
spacer Re: I was a student from 73 to 77
PenthouseTiger
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
randy nelson
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I***
randy nelson
spacer Re: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I- Amen
74TIGER
spacer Re: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I- Amen
jjlove98
spacer well that isnt happening
74TIGER
spacer Re: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I- Amen
deroberts
spacer Big Problem: We are a Football School...Not a BB School
CU_Tigers4life®
spacer Considering tickets to home BB games comes along with
David78®
spacer WVU disagrees. Dabo's 0-5 vs non-cons finishing in AP Top 25***
Razzmatazz
spacer Mickey needs to read this interview...
RidgeTig®
spacer Remember...sports is "ENTERTAINMENT" & success matters......
lightbulbbill®
spacer Clemson anything is MORE than entertainment for me.***
Completely Solid Orange®
spacer Really
jif91
spacer Re: Really
armsb
spacer TDP
TIGERROCKER
spacer That's why you quit getting football tickets?***
tiggerz04®
spacer Re: TDP
armsb
spacer First thing he needs to do is get the students involved...
cutiger250
spacer Using your marketing class well cutiger250***
tiger chuck
spacer It ain't rocket science... and I sure as heck
nkickha
spacer Re: First thing he needs to do is get the students involved...
armsb
spacer Student Online Lottery Needs To Go
ptong®
spacer ^^THIS^^
Greercat
spacer Re: ^^THIS^^
ptong®
spacer Agree, and when they do go, they don't go early - in fact
Greercat
spacer Can't tell you how glad I am that...
nkickha
spacer Camping out was half the fun
IPTAY FAMILY
spacer Maybe he should leave too
youngblood
spacer Is ignorance bliss?***
tiggerz04®
spacer TDP looks like he is measuring fish...
71PR
spacer No, measuring his progress since arriving at Clemson***
Cdixon11
spacer $5 Footlong***
tiggerz04®
spacer Remember, our basketball team's struggles are your fault
Cdixon11
spacer It is partially the fans fault. Recruits don't want to go..
goclemsontigs
spacer Then don't have the football recuits leave at halftime
IPTAY FAMILY
spacer The crowd did suck, but to tell the fans to "wake up" is
TigaP
spacer They can put people in the stands
clemson_alum®
spacer Right on TDP. Some of the people here who complain about
WolfMan2
spacer notice this post has no TUs***
nkickha
spacer Do they still have Central Spirit committee at Clemson?***
crookedcreek
spacer Re: Do they still have Central Spirit committee at Clemson?***
ptong®
spacer Bottom line... If you love Clemson, support the team no
scgradcutigersfan
spacer If you build it, they will come...
wyletigr
spacer Just like in football the students are jerked around. In old
mjm
spacer Exactly. Make it fun for the students to come
nkickha
spacer Haven't we had 20+ wins for the last 4 years?***
goclemsontigs
spacer Yep, and almost all the home games were sellouts.***
nkickha
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
Tigerbandit
spacer TDP is right on about this one***
SolidOrange007
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Conversation with Terry Don Phillips - Part I
CidTiger
Clemson ties best AP preseason ranking
Clemson ties best AP preseason ranking
Monday Insider: Camp ends, school begins, and excitement mounts
Monday Insider: Camp ends, school begins, and excitement mounts
Georgia OT picks up Clemson offer
Georgia OT picks up Clemson offer
Quarterback: Battle for starting spot heads into final week of fall camp
Quarterback: Battle for starting spot heads into final week of fall camp
WATCH: Deshaun Watson leads Texans 79 yards for first TD back
WATCH: Deshaun Watson leads Texans 79 yards for first TD back
WATCH: Mike Williams with remarkable TD grab
WATCH: Mike Williams with remarkable TD grab
Swinney looking forward to "interesting bus ride" into LSU's Death Valley
Swinney looking forward to "interesting bus ride" into LSU's Death Valley
Thursday's scrimmage a battle of the elite versus the elite
Thursday's scrimmage a battle of the elite versus the elite
Unfinished Business: Mark Fields looking to put it all together in 2018
Unfinished Business: Mark Fields looking to put it all together in 2018
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest