New Buzz on Clemon’s Campus

October 15, 2008 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

On October 13th the excitement on Clemson’s campus would have made an outsider think something extraordinary had happened… were exams canceled? Were all students given A’s in their classes? No! Tommy Bowden had “stepped down.” This news spread like wildfire around Clemson’s campus and created quite the buzz. I have never played football nor do I understand the game beyond the basics, so therefore I do not claim to be a pro of the sport. Although many times people voice their opinions on heated matters even if they are not knowledgeable (like the Bowden issue) many Clemson Alumni, football fanatics, and those who truly understand the sport all agreed it was time for Tommy Bowden to leave. He was said to be a mediocre coach and that his coaching tactics were no longer working for Clemson. Clemson Football was ranked high in the pre-season rankings and was projected to due very well this season given the incredible talent we had on the team. The first major stomping that Alabama gave us was a rude awakening and seemed to “set Clemson in its place”, but little did fans know this was just the beginning. The season continued to go down hill and Clemson lost games we were projected to win. Not too far into the season, there was major talk that Bowden needed to be fired. Some devoted Clemson fans even wore T-shirts that said, “Fire Bowden.” The buzz started and this seemed to be the only thing on Clemson fans minds.

I stayed out of the heated Bowden opinions, since I am not a football expert (as stated earlier). And anyways, who are the lazy fans in the stands to say if Bowden is a good coach or not? We’re not the ones out on the field. Was it really Bowden making all the bad calls? I was interested to have these questions answered so I asked a few of my friends that play football for Clemson. They were all very complimentary of Tommy Bowden and were also careful in how they answered my questions. They commented on how they respect and like him so much as a person; but that they thought it was time for him to leave. His coaching methods were not “clicking” with the players and the plays he called were obviously not working either.  They said all of the players were in a “rut”, no longer enjoyed football, and sadly dreaded most games because of the negative outlook they had. After speaking with some of the players, the people who are directly affected by Tommy Bowden, I then too agreed that if Clemson wanted to end the season at all on a positive note, it was time for him to go.

Many say a coach should not leave his team during the middle of the season, but I think it was a very smart and well thought out on Tommy Bowden’s part to “step down” as head coach. In the end, Clemson fans respected him more for stepping down when he did rather than continuing his dedication to the team. One of the bad calls Tommy Bowden made that did not do much for his image was when he made the announcement to bench Cullen Harper. During a press conference, the interviewer asked if Harper was aware of this, and Bowden stated, “I left him a voicemail.” NOT a good decision Tommy.

As soon as Dabo Swinney was named interim coach, Clemson’s overall atmosphere became much more spirited, for a new hope was on the rise. The student body support Dabo and we are all anxious to see how this season will turn out…. Clemson is in full support of Swinney as of now…


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