FanDuel - WFBC

October 13, 2008

Clemson Fires Tommy Bowden: In a season where some Clemson fans saw their "sky-high expectations" vanish in a 3-3 start the school fired Head Coach Tommy Bowden after 10 years. Just last December, Bowden got a $500,000 raise to a yearly salary of $1.8 million. He has a $4 million buyout. "It's what he deserved," senior quarterback Cullen Harper told ESPN.

posted by rcade to football at 02:47 PM - 9 comments

Another example of rich alumni dictating the calls, IMHO. Win or leave.

posted by Fly_Piscator at 04:16 PM on October 13

I've lived this side of the pond for 12 years now. I still don't remotely get the appeal (or point) of college sports.

posted by Drood at 04:34 PM on October 13

Bowden had 10 years at Clemson, and in recent years the team always underperformed its expectations. I was thinking they might be a championship contender this season, but they've started out their ACC schedule 1-2.

As a soccer fan, you should see the appeal of college football, Drood. The traditions, music and level of fan involvement create an atmosphere in the sport that's a lot like what I'm seeing in the ELF as a new convert.

posted by rcade at 04:52 PM on October 13

I've lived this side of the pond for 12 years now. I still don't remotely get the appeal (or point) of college sports.

In my case part of the appeal is I have two kids in college and it is fun to keep track of how their schools are doing. But I also think it is fun to watch. Most college athletes are playing competitively for the last time in their lives as the percentage of them who go on to play at the professional level is very low.

As to the point ... well, it all comes down to money! Athletics, especially in NCAA Division I programs, brings in a lot of $$$$ to the schools ... from TV revenues to alumni donations.

posted by MAYANKEE at 05:40 PM on October 13

As someone who currently attends an NCAA Div. I-AA school, I like college sports because I'm in college. I also think college sports are interesting because a team can change so drastically from year to year due to graduation. There are always fresh faces after five years at the most, and things are always changing.

That's just me though, and I'm not a huge fan of the college world other than UNI football. I observe when there's not much else on.

posted by boredom_08 at 08:34 PM on October 13

Two things influenced my son's choice of Penn State for his higher education. They were his AP Psychology teacher, who is a PSU alumna, and the football program. (He played in high school, but was nowhere near good enough for an FBS team. Still, he loves the sport, and being able to get to top-level games is important.) As it turns out, he is thriving there, both academically and socially. What was not apparent to either him or us, his parents, was the contribution that football makes to the overall quality of the education he is receiving. This is mainly due to the continued involvement with the school by its alumni, which in turn is fueled by the prominence of the football team. The alumni network of Penn State is both vast and active. Alumni giving is high, and "networking" plays a big role in finding employment for the graduates.

So, Drood, I guess my short answer is that the whole appeal of sports is in providing a "rallying point" around which a university can build its network. I'm not saying this is the only way, but, for one example, having Nobel laureates in economics on its faculty does less for George Mason University than its very successful basketball teams. In a perfect world this might not be so, but would you rather listen to a lecture on the Federal Reserve System or watch a basketball game?

posted by Howard_T at 09:41 AM on October 14

I understand your sentiment, Drood. I resisted college sports for years and years, largely because college football is practically the state religion around here. But there is nothing like being in the stands in Tuscaloosa during a kick-off, and 80,000 people are screaming and the whole place is a sea of crimson... it's spectacular. And not just the devotion people demonstrate to their team, the teams themselves. That Texas-Oklahoma game last Saturday? Amazing. Two talented teams playing smart, physical ball, with passion. It was a treat for even the most lukewarm fan of the game to watch.

Plus, a lot of these schools have been playing each other for a CENTURY or so. There's tons of history and tradition for a fan to wallow in.

Is it overblown and taken to a ridiculous extreme? Sure. But that's only because there was something there to begin with, something beautiful and joyous to participate in, whether you're on the field or in the stands.

posted by BitterOldPunk at 02:07 PM on October 15

But there is nothing like being in the stands in Tuscaloosa during a kick-off, and 80,000 people are screaming and the whole place is a sea of crimson...

Virginia Tech played in the ACC Championship game in Jacksonville last season. I went to the game and had the good luck to come in just as the Va. Tech fans were jumping up and down in response to "Enter Sandman."

College football does pageantry better than any other sport in the U.S.

posted by rcade at 03:31 PM on October 15

Um, didn't Tommy step down as head coach?? My understanding is he was not fired, but came to an agreement with Clemson's AD that his leaving at this time would be best for the team.

Tailgating Drood, Tailgating!! As a native of Alabama I have followed the Tide for oh about 45 years now. Even if I don't have tickets just being in the parking lot of whatever stadium the team is playing in is one hell of a party.

posted by Folkways at 06:35 PM on October 15

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